Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An Open Letter To Marty Knollenberg

Dear Marty:

I have a question.

Do you bear any responsibility for the man-made disaster currently poisoning the people of Flint? I know that it's commonly reported that the water in Flint has dangerous levels of lead, but lets not forget that the water also contains dangerous amounts of e. coli, trihamlomethanes, and copper. This is the result of forcing the people of Flint to drink from the Flint River.

You may think is strange for me to ask you this question. Because, currently, most of the blame is being leveled at Governor Snyder. But I ask this question to you because Governor Snyder didn't act alone in creating this man-made disaster. He had help.

The way I see it, this travesty stems all the way back to the enactment of the Emergency Manager Law. It was a law revised back in 2011. If you don't remember, the law allows the governor to appoint emergency managers with near-absolute power in cash-strapped cities, towns, and school districts. Emergency managers can supersede local ordinances, sell city assets, and break union contracts -- leaving local elected officials without any real authority. You voted in support of this horrific law. (See pg. 314).

But then, the people of Michigan acted. They started a veto referendum effort and rejected the law, with a spokesman for the referendum explaining, “People are used to electing folks to represent them...[t]hat duty of elected officials is sacred and cannot just be wiped away because of a credit rating. People found that offensive.”

However, you didn't take that into consideration, did you? Nope, Governor Snyder ignored the will of the people and had the bill reintroduced. This time, an expenditure was added so the people couldn't override the law. And once again, you happily voted for it. (See pg. 2684).

Because the law was enacted over the will of the people, Governor Snyder was able to appoint an Emergency Manager in Flint. And the “decision to use the Flint River as an interim source was ultimately made by then-Flint emergency manager Edward Kurtz in about June 2013.”


Most importantly, and I can't stress this enough, the neurological and behavioral effects of lead are irreversible.

There you go. So much irreversible damage created by a legislature hell-bent on overriding Democracy and ignoring the clearly stated opinion of the the people of Michigan.  And you are just one of the legislators that made it possible.

So the question still stands: Do you bear any responsibility for the man-made disaster currently poisoning the people of Flint?

I'll be waiting for your response.

- KTS

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