On Friday, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced that she may sue the state of Michigan for a variety of charges related to the Flint water crisis that has now gained worldwide notoriety representing the worst possible way for a local government to handle a local crisis.
My guess is this is because Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is highly pissed, which would most likely be an accurate description of how the overwhelming majority of her constituents feel. But Karen Weaver is not only highly pissed, she is highly popular with the people of Flint. She is popular because she has demonstrated that she is willing to go to the mat for her people, to do whatever it takes to get them the help they need immediately if not sooner. Because she knows that if help comes any slower than immediately then Flint’s days could be numbered. Hell, they may be numbered already. After all, it’s not like they have a lot of time. Because when you’re out of water, you’re pretty much out of time.
So what’s surprising is that Gov. Snyder and members of his administration are so surprised. Shocked and surprised that after being essentially poisoned by their own government for nearly two years, while also being ignored, Mayor Weaver would have the nerve to take legal action and lash out like this. As one Republican legislator implied, how can they be expected to want to help Flint now that their mayor is being so mean to them? Doesn’t she realize that they are all her friends and partners now, and how much they want to help? Because if she doesn’t then, well, Flint may just have to wait a little longer for any help from Lansing. Screw the children and the families. Feelings have been hurt in Lansing, and naturally that comes first.
From the Detroit News:
House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, called the action “very unfortunate and very reckless on the part of the mayor. …I think that the mayor’s actions here could potentially blow up the state’s checkbook, and I think it’s going to have a real chilling effect on the House, as to providing any further resources in the interim,” Cotter said.
The Legislature has so far approved $67 million in funding for Flint. Cotter said last week he would be open to further supplemental spending proposals once the state budget is completed in June.
Snyder has requested another $165 million for Flint, with $126 million recommended as supplemental funding in this fiscal year and another $39 million recommended for next fiscal year that begins in October.
A chilling effect on the House. Reckless.
People’s lives are at stake. The entire city of Flint is ticking. I suspect diplomacy and politesse are not what is foremost on the mayor’s mind. She sees a story that she knows will gradually fade from the headlines even while her people continue to suffer years into the future. Mayor Weaver is making as much noise as she can however she can to keep people reminded of what is still going on in Flint. Some people may be getting tired of hearing about the story, but this is not a luxury the city’s mayor can afford. And in truth, it is a luxury none of us can afford either.
Mayor Weaver has a right to scream as loud as she wants.