2015 September

Neighborhood Revitalization:

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As Mayor, I will insist upon a more equitable distribution of government resources to impact every sector of the city of Flint, north, south, east, west, and downtown, rather than concentrating the bulk of city, state, and federal funds in the downtown Flint area. I will advocate with our Washington delegation to continue lobbying for demolition funds, however, with a slight twist—for every two structures that are demolished, funds are provided for one new built, so that our neighborhoods are rebuilt.

One of my priorities will be to straighten out Smith Village. The current situation there is a mess. It’s evident the subdivision was constructed for the sake of expedience and without a lot of forethought and planning. I will find money to either purchase and demolish and/or rehab the older homes in the neighborhood to improve the aesthetics of the area and make it more appealing to potential buyers, thereby saving the city’s huge investment in the area. The newly constructed homes there now are merely languishing because the neighborhood is not an attractive place to live.

My position on Flint’s water woes:

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First and foremost, as a stop gap measure until the Karendgondi water pipeline is up and running, I will strongly advocate that the City of Flint purchase its water directly from  Genesee County, which ironically is still buying its water from the Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage. I say advocate at this point because, thanks to a few City Council members, any major decision proposed by the Mayor or City Council has to pass muster with the MTAB, the mechanism put in place to oversee city operations for an unspecified period of time in the absence of an emergency manager. Also, in direct contradiction to the City Charter, the city of Flint has an omnipotent city administrator who was bequeathed unparalleled powers to run the city by decree of Flint’s last emergency manager as a departing gesture. I will fight vigorously to return the city to its sovereign right, as a government by the people, in full compliance with the current City Charter, while simultaneously advocating for the stop gap measure I alluded to above.

I feel it is critical to act expeditiously to remove our citizens and our infrastructure from any further harm posed by Flint River water. The Virginia Tech studies have shown that Flint River water is seven times more corrosive than Detroit water, and is a direct cause of lead leaching from pipes used in our water delivery system. Flint River water is not only posing a tremendous health hazard to our people, it is also corroding our already frail infrastructure. The impending damage to both is immeasurable.




Flint Mayor Candidate Calls for Federal Investigation on City Water

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Flint Mayoral Candidate Karen Weaver is calling for a federal investigation of the city’s drinking water. Weaver mailed a letter to state leaders and President Obama mentioning a report that found high levels of lead and copper in services lines to resident homes.

Weaver says she would like to see the city’s water rates fall and for Flint to switch back to Detroit’s water service.

We have been speaking up and speaking out, but it seems our crisis has been falling on deaf ears and so that’s why I reached out,” Weaver says. “We need and we deserve clean and affordable water here in the city of Flint. And it’s been a huge issue ever since we left Detroit water.”

Flint has received complaints about water quality since it began getting its drinking water from the city’s river in April 2014.

Mayor Dayne Walling says a water optimization plan to help reduce corrosive effects of water in home service lines will begin next year. But Candidate Karen Weaver says something needs to be done now.

Click here to read the full article.

Feds sending in experts to help Flint keep lead out of water

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FLINT, MI — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will send help to the city as it develops plans for controlling corrosion in treated Flint River water, a key to keeping lead from leaching into homes and businesses.

The EPA said that while city water is within allowable levels for lead, it has “recommended that Flint implement corrosion control treatment as soon as possible since the city’s lead service lines can leach lead into the drinking water if left untreated.”

The statement was issued to The Flint Journal-MLive Wednesday, Sept. 9, one day after researchers from Virginia Tech University advised Flint residents not to drink or cook with tap water here without flushing lines before each use or using a filter to remove lead.

Virginia Tech students and faculty have posted the results of 252 water tests from Flint online, concluding the city has “a very serious lead in water problem.”

The Virginia Tech testing so far has shown 10 percent of the water samples from across the city tested at 25 parts per billion of lead or more — far more than the allowable level — 15 ppb — set in federal guidelines.

Overall, the Virginia Tech testing showed 16.7 percent of Flint samples showed more than 15 ppb of lead.

Meanwhile, the city’s official test results show 90 percent or more of the samples are 15 ppb or less, according to the state, and the water is meeting all standards for safety.

Click here to read the full article.


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Claims by state and local officials that Flint’s municipal water is safe to drink are being put to the test in a precedent-setting independent study.

So far, those claims are emphatically failing to pass muster.

Researchers from Virginia Tech – working with a group of Flint residents and the ACLU of Michigan – are conducting an extensive analysis of lead and copper levels in water flowing into the homes of Flint’s residents.

Initial findings show the problem is roughly twice as bad as the city’s tests indicate.

What’s been dubbed the Flint Citizen Science Study is still under way, but the early findings have been so disturbing that the Virginia Tech team is posting results on the web in order to alert residents about how extensive the problem may be.

“I think it would have been unethical to not release this information right away,” said VT professor Marc Edwards, who is leading the project.

According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations, the city would be out of compliance if 10 percent of homes tested are above the action level of 15 parts per billion lead. The city says its latest sampling, conducted during the first six months of this year, shows that Flint’s water is in compliance with federal regulations, according to documents obtained by the ACLU of Michigan.

That claim is based on tests conducted at 69 homes.

The VT study is looking at nearly four times as many homes. Of the 120 samples analyzed so far, 20 percent have been over the federal action level – twice what it would take for the city to be out of compliance.


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