Guiding regionalism and reform from the court: Judge John Feikens

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Abstract

For decades, federal district court judges have been deeply involved in the reform of state and local government agencies. Some scholars describe such a judicial role in institutional reform as “managerial.” This profile examines the managerial role of Judge John Feikens, who, since 1977, has supervised the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's attempts to comply with federal laws on wastewater treatment and water quality. Through his sustained, effective oversight, Feikens became an influential mediator of metropolitan cooperation. His persistence in resolving metropolitan conflict may be viewed with concern by those who worry about lengthy court involvement in public administration. However, this insightful profile underscores poignant contemporary lessons, even from judicial actions, for enhancing metropolitan problem solving. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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