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article imageOp-Ed: Governor Snyder to Flint — 'You deserve to know the truth'

By Karen Graham     Jan 20, 2016 in Politics
Flint - Michigan Governor Rick Snyder gave his sixth State of the State address Tuesday night, spending half of his speech addressing the Flint water crisis.
Snyder asked the legislature for an additional $28 million to fund a series of immediate actions and announced he was deploying more National Guard troops to the city to ensure every household is visited to make sure everyone has water filters.
RT America is reporting that the governor also publicly apologized, saying, “To begin, I’d like to address the people of Flint. Your families face a crisis, a crisis you did not create and could not have prevented. I am sorry and I will fix it.”
He spoke of the long-term consequences of the water crisis, saying the $28 million won't be the last budget request for Flint. He also said he was releasing all his emails pertaining to the Flint crisis from 2014 and 2015. He then released a detailed timeline of steps officials have already taken.
Most of them are already taking place, such as handing out bottled water and filters. But the mayor also mentioned testing and replacing of water fixtures in schools, health tests for children, treatment of potential behavioral problems and a study of the structural integrity of the pipes and connections.
“No citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe. Government failed you — federal, state and local leaders — by breaking the trust you placed in us,” Snyder said, as reported by Fox6 News.
Snyder added, "You deserve better. You deserve accountability. You deserve to know that the buck stops here with me. Most of all, you deserve to know the truth."
The governor's speech, while seemingly sincere, did little to quiet his critics, says CNN News. While he was talking of an initial cost of $28 million, Flint's mayor, Karen Weaver had previously said the costs of undoing the damage to the infrastructure and people's health would easily run between $1 billion and $1,5 billion.
"For those who think $28 million will begin to remedy the Flint water crisis, that is a fraction of the money city residents have paid for poisoned water that they cannot drink," said Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee.
All in all, the Flint water crisis is an embarrassment to Michigan and a disaster that never should have happened in the first place. In April 2014, an emergency administrator was appointed for Flint because of a financial crisis. To save costs, it was decided that switching from the safe Detroit water supply to the Flint River for a water source would save about $4.0 million.
What is so disturbing about the switch to the Flint River as a water source is that in 2011, a study was released saying that for the water in the Flint River to be potable, or fit to drink, it would have to be treated with an anti-corrosive agent, a measure estimated to cost about $100 a day. Experts say this measure would have prevented 90 percent of the problems Flint is having today, reports CNN News.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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