February 20, 2017 (FLINT, MI)— Mayor Karen Weaver held a press conference today at Flint City Hall to address conflicting accounts reported by media recently regarding when and how state officials shared informed her and members of her administration about the state’s decision to end the water relief credits being provided to customers of the Flint water system.
“I wanted you all to come here today because there’s been a lot of back and forth in the press about what I knew and when I knew it concerning the water credits,” Mayor Weaver began.
“The state Department of Environmental Quality sent out a press release on January 24, and at the end of the release there was a sentence stating the water credits would continue being provided through the end of February. Well, we knew that. We expected the credits to continue through February and then on through the end of March.
“Then two weeks later, the governor’s office sent a letter to Flint’s Chief Financial Officer, David Sabuda, and I dated February 7. The letter said the state would provide the water credits and the GLWA payment for source water through the end of February. The letter also notes that it is the first formal notification to city leaders regarding the credits ending in February.
“This didn’t strike me as anything new. We were expecting the credits to continue through at least the end of March and state law supports that. Actually, I feel that the credits should be provided until at least June after we get the results of the next round of water testing.
“What concerns me is that we are losing focus of the real issue here. We are now arguing amongst ourselves instead of being upset with the state for ending the credits earlier than they initially told us, and after I told state officials it was not a good idea.
“The fact is, the governor signed legislation at the beginning of January extending the water relief credits through March 31, and now they want to end the credits a month earlier than promised.
“I have not mislead this community and I was shocked to hear Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson say that I did. I take exception to that. I would not do that. I think we deserve the credits until the water is tap drinkable, without a filter. I work for this community and am always fighting for the people of Flint.
“This is a trust issue. State officials say one thing, then they do something different. That has always been one of my concerns and that of the community as well. So, let’s not forget that. Let’s hold the state accountable. “