In a time in which political responsibilities are increasingly becoming more complicated, we are reminded that some elected leaders simply cannot handle a crisis. Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan and the city of Flint, have completely failed in safeguarding the lives of the people in Flint. This crisis has been a few years in the making. In 2013, the Flint City Council voted to stop receiving water from Detroit and receive water from a pipeline that comes from Lake Huron. This was supposed to save Flint millions. However, it was not completed and by 2014, Detroit was not selling Flint any more water. The city of Flint decided to use the Flint River as its new water source. Officials such as Mayor Dane Walling saw this as historic for the city and even after initial complaints, he argued that the water is safe.
At one point the water contained fecal bacteria and in early 2015, the water had unhealthy levels of water disinfectants that could cause cancer. The Governor attempted to fix the problem by providing money for water system upgrades. Yet the city refused a generous offer from Detroit to reestablish a water connection. They consider it too much money in the long run, but it was clear that the cheap option was not safe. By September 2015, the Flint water had amounts of lead in it. Soon many citizens were reporting traces of lead in their blood stream, which could cause cognitive issues for people in the future. Officials declared a public health emergency and citizens were told not to use the water unless they have a specific water filter. The Governor proposed another plan to purchase these filters. This move shows his stubbornness by not buying Detroit’s water to alleviate the crisis. Despite that, Flint did eventually return to receiving Detroit’s water but the damage was done. Also the water system is not completely back to normal even after going back to Detroit’s water.
The biggest factor in this crisis is all about the money. Officials were ready to cut corners in an attempt to save money. It just goes to show that sometimes cheaper is not always better when human lives are on the line. Now Flint’s citizens will have a myriad of health issues in the future. Governor Snyder and Mayor Walling should be held accountable for their negligence and inaction to simply do the right thing. Water is the source of all life and should be valued as the highest priority especially when citizens rely on it every day.