The changes are the result of a state audit that raised serious concerns about MSD, including the district’s inappropriately large bonuses, no-bid contracts with legal counsel and lax spending policies.
On Friday, Fischer announced he had asked MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein to retire. Schardein will remain until the spring to aid the transition. Louisville Water Company CEO Greg Heitzman will serve as the interim executive director.
Councilman Kelly Downard has long been critical of MSD management. He says he wasn’t surprised by many of the issues raised by the audit, but he didn’t expect the extent of the problems.
“I think what we all knew was that Bud Schardein runs a heck of a good sewer system but nobody’s running the business, and nobody’s running it very well,” he said. “So that’s a double-dip, and they’ve got a lot of movement to make.”
Downard says Fischer handled the situation well.
“He responded quickly and pretty decisively,” Downard said. “Now it’s a matter for Greg Heitzman to move that forward over the next three months. I fully believe he’s going to; he’s a good manager. So if that carries forward and the emphasis is out there, I think we’ll get a good result.”
Fischer also accepted the resignation of three board members, including board chairman Arnold Celantano.