Friday, September 16, 2016

Politics and bureaucracy are winning

Daniel Howes of the Detroit News has an essay at Michigan Radio on the many reasons why Flint and its water problems appear to be no closer to being resolved in the year since the issue became public.

* Michael McDaniel was hired by the Flint mayor last February to head the Flint Action and Stability Team. His job is to "get the lead out." He has yet to receive a paycheck.

* Nearly $130 million in philanthropic support is flowing slowly as the job to replace lead service lines (the source of the lead) requires competitive bidding and multiple levels of approval under the threat of legal action if not done right.

* Gov. Rick Snyder and AG Bill Schuette are feuding whether the state Health and Human Service dept. can work on Legionnaire's disease (another new case in Flint right now). The feud is because Scheutte thinks that work will disrupt his investigations.

* The mayor struggles to assemble her administration because the city is so cash-strapped. There is no public works director. The city engineer has been on the job for a month. The city administrator and financial officer abruptly quit. And the city needs another plumbing inspector.

* Schuette has said nobody, not even the governor, is excluded from his investigation. That means workers are careful to protect themselves, which takes precedence over actually getting work done.

* Schuette is being obvious about his desire to be the GOP nominee for governor in two years.

Politics and bureaucracy are winning. The people of Flint still suffer.

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