In one hundred and five seconds, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder disclosed his first steps to resolve the contaminated water crisis of his own creation within the City of Flint by unveiling a family of component studies including:
- Update of a water infrastructure reliability study from 2013
- Priority analysis of service line replacement
- System map analysis
- Long-term asset plan
Isn’t it amazing how Team Snyder is full of so many rescue plans these days, after spending about 531 unengaged days in denial as Flint’s crisis was unfolding?
But, in the words of Krame Nkrumah, “Action without thought is blind.”
Nkrumah also said “Thought without action is empty.”
And it’s the Snyder administration’s “emptiness” of actions and convictions from April 25, 2014 to October 8, 2015 which makes me think Flint’s current crisis is much larger than Gov. Snyder’s integrity to manage.
There appears to be little argument over whether or not Flint residents, in the most euphemistic case, are living evidence of collateral damage from the incompetence of Snyder-sanctioned municipal austerity, turned into environmental disaster.
Others may call Flint’s water crisis an undeclared act of environmental terrorism, worthy of a Nuremberg-style trial.
But here are some artifacts we should never forget while Snyder attempts to dazzle the television cameras with his big plans.
For more than a year and five months into the crisis where thousands of Flint families destroyed their bodies through the consumption of contaminated water, Team Snyder never appeared ready to initiate nor seriously discuss a single water study for for the besieged city.
In fact, almost all of the administration’s time was spent denying the existence of an environmental disaster.
Snyder officials provided special substitute water favors to a Flint-based automobile plant that recognized the crisis during the early stages.
Snyder’s administration shipped in safe drinking water for government employees months before publicly acknowledging the crisis.
They even attempted to cover up the existing crisis by skewing water samples used for testing.
After more than a year and five months of astonishing and purposeful denial, who can trust Gov. Snyder’s administration to spend any more time conducting studies for a crisis they never took seriously?
And if Motor City Muckracker‘s report is correct, it appears that Gov. Snyder not only ignored warnings from other Michigan officials about the risks of using the Flint River as a water source, but he also ignored clean water proposals which were more cost effective than his chosen disastrous course of cost-cutting action.
While I’m not a fan of Michigan’s emergency manager provisions, I think we need to place Snyder on the sidelines to concentrate on the rest of the state while a more engaged executive can be brought in to resolve Flint’s issues.
Besides, Snyder may need time to prepare for that Nuremberg-style trial …
song currently stuck in my head: “chinatown” – tony williams