April 16, 2018 (Flint, Mich)— Mayor Karen Weaver met today with Governor Rick Snyder in Lansing. Weaver requested the meeting to discuss his recent decision to close bottled water distribution sites in Flint, other vital issues facing the Flint community, and what can be done to help residents as the recovery process continues.
The meeting lasted for about 35 minutes. During that time, Mayor Weaver said she thanked the governor for supporting the decision to restore “Home Rule” in Flint after years of state oversight. However, when she brought up the water situation in Flint, she said the discussion took on a much different tone.
“We did not get very far into the conversation about the PODS because the governor basically said, ‘We need to get over it’, recalled Weaver. “He said the water is testing well, and we need to move on. I told him, we know how the water is testing, but we have not replaced all of the lead-tainted service lines and put in new pipes, and it is an issue of safety and an issue of public health and not putting public health over cost and profit. The other issue we have is that we are not satisfied with the testing in the schools. But, the biggest thing is trust. I said they gave us their word that they would see us through this lead and galvanized service line replacement, and we would have PODS stay open until then and they backed out on what they said.
I told him that this is a moral and an ethical issue and the people of Flint deserve to be comfortable and have peace of mind and continue to use bottled and filtered water while we get through this process. We also said that they could have handled the situation differently. Instead of shutting down all of the PODS, they could have closed some but left a couple open. They could have even reduced the amount of water people could get a day, but still allow them to continue receiving it and feel safe. But no, the governor didn’t want to hear it.”
Mayor Weaver said that because the governor is no longer interested in discussing the water situation in Flint, City officials feel they have no other choice but to exercise legal options to get the supports still needed in Flint due to the man-made water disaster.
“I am really glad that back in March of 2016, I took steps to preserve our right to take legal action. I said if we have to take them to court, that is what we will do and that is where we are today,” Weaver said.
“We have to explore all possibilities and this is one of those,” continued Angela Wheeler, Chief Legal Officer for the City of Flint. “As a result of the state and their employees we are here, and these are things that we have to look at as far as their negligence and gross negligence.”
Mayor Weaver thanked everyone for their continued support of Flint, including a number Michigan Mayors who sent Governor Snyder a letter stating that, amongst other things, ‘Trust has not been restored in Flint’, and he should reconsider his decision and continue to provide state resources to the citizens and the City of Flint until lead service line replacement is complete.