By Curt Guyette

October 7, 2015

http://michronicleonline.com/2015/10/07/flint-water-crisis-a-bitter-indictment-of-dysfunctional-emergency-manager/

Excerpts: 
  • “This is what can happen when people are denied full access to representative government; they get poisoned by appointees with no connection to the community. Under Michigan’s emergency manager law – PA 436 — gubernatorial appointees can leave town claiming to have successfully solved a fiscal crisis when in fact what they leave in their wake is a catastrophe of monumental proportions.  In recent days, as the lead problems in Flint have made international news, former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley – the man in charge when the switch to the Flint River was made, and who is now overseeing the education of the children in Detroit Public Schools – has tried to deny any responsibility for the catastrophe.”
  • “But there is another problem with the EM law as well, one made painfully obvious in Flint. In a normally-functioning democracy, when it came time for a city of Flint to conduct tests to show it is in compliance with federal drinking water regulations, the city would be an independent actor with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) serving as a separate check on the system, another independent actor providing oversight to make sure the job is done correctly.  Instead, with Governor Rick Snyder’s man being the one in charge when the decision was made to start using river water – a decision that was almost instantly revealed to be fraught with problems – the MDEQ, instead of being a watchdog protecting the citizens of Flint, served as a collaborator, working with the city to do everything in their power to skew results so that their tests would make it appear that the water was safe when it wasn’t.”