Reading,Writing, and Water

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I was writing a new piece when I finally had enough. The news became more and more unbearable each time it was reported and for the first time in a long time… I hated to be right. I never liked Governor Rick Snyder. I saw his disdain for the lower class and minorities evident throughout every move he made. Now those moves have risen to the surface. Invested in apathy and interest paid for by the health of thousands of Michigan residents.
Currently, Detroit Public School teachers fed up with the conditions of the schools and laughable wages have staged “Sick outs” to call attention to the matter. Detroit Public Schools are under an Emergency Manager appointed by Governor Snyder in order to help the school district while it is severely in debt. Help only in word and not deed. For the past 6yrs, Detroit Public Schools continued to fall deeper into decay. Molds and fungus grow wild in the hallways. The very same hallways kids have to use for gym class because the gymnasium is no longer suitable due to leaking roof and warped, molded floor. Some schools have no heat, old books. Teachers have to come out of pocket for toilet paper and school supplies for the children. Their salaries barely supporting their own households. How would you feel if your child went to school and these are the conditions that they were forced to learn in?

An hours drive north of Detroit and another Emergency Manager appointed by Governor Snyder has committed the unthinkable. It has been known for the past two years that Flint’s water supply was in dire straits. In fact, General Motors abandoned using Flints water in 2014 for their plant citing pollutants in the water. Like his counterpart in Detroit Public Schools, he was in no hurry to turn things around. In fact, it was a doctor’s report on the high levels of lead in children that sparked outrage. Then there were the reports of over 80 cases of Legionaries disease with 10 fatalities due to the polluted water. It is estimated that it will take $41 million to replace all the corroded pipes causing the contamination. Which is all the pipes in the city. Darnell Early was the Emergency Manager in Flint and of course Governor Snyder had to remove him. Yet Snyder felt Early was a good man and made him the new Emergency Manager of … You guessed it, Detroit Public Schools.

Governor Snyder has apologized and in turn blamed bureaucrats for anything he could but the damage is done and his part is plain as the pain in the faces of Flint’s residents. Faces that echo the ultimate betrayal of leadership. Snyder’s lack of respect for minorities and the poor came swiftly when he appointed Emergency Managers over Flint,Pontiac,Detroit, and Benton Harbor shortly after his first term as Governor. Now we see the fruits of his decisions. Promise fair oversight but deliver unfair dispensation. Promise an investment of resources but deny the resources necessary. Emergency Management is nothing more than suspending democracy in favor of his friends. Namely the rich and Republican. The rest of us can drink the water. Holla if you hear me.

-K. Greene

 

Just Plain Wrong

First of all, I want to give Detroit’s city lawyer Corporate Counsel Krystal Crittendon a round of applause.  When it was time to look out for Detroit’s best interest, she stepped up and filed a lawsuit on its behalf.  The city charter clearly states that Detroit cannot enter into a contract with its debtors.  That contract being the current Consent Agreement with the state.  In December of last year, Bing and the City Council told everyone the state owed the city of Detroit $284.6 million on live TV.  It is that $284.6 million that is the source of contention in Crittendon’s lawsuit.  Under the city charter, Detroit cannot enter into a Consent Agreement with the state because they owe the city of Detroit a large chunk of money!  However, Mayor Bing has now changed his tune.

Detroit will not pursue the money he (Bing) once said the state owes the city.  We need to borrow $80 million from the state or we go broke, the state is going to take over Belle Isle, and the state fair has gone to Novi.  Oh, and because Krystal Crittendon filed a lawsuit to stop this process, Mayor Bing is looking to remove her from office because she would not resign.  What is his reason?  Krystal Crittendon’s legal challenge adversely affected Detroit’s bond rating and ability to finance its ongoing operations, which could cost millions of dollars.  In short; What Governor Snyder wants, he gets!

That is the major reason why Detroit can’t get over the hump.  Those who were elected to fight for it continue to sell it out and those who do the right thing are made the villains.  The people no longer trust their leadership and I don’t blame them.  Crittendon’s challenge to the Consent Agreement was the right thing to do for the people.  If Detroit is to have a Consent Agreement, it is only right that it does not go against the city charter.  It is appalling that she must now lose her job.   Without Crittendon’s challenge, Snyder and Bing are free to go after Detroit’s union contracts.  That is really what this is all about.  More pay cuts and job losses for Police, Firemen, and city workers.  That in itself is a damn shame! Holla if you hear me!

-K. Greene

Bing vs Snyder Who’s For Us?

I had a great blog that I was ready to share with all of you when I got a media alert from the City of Detroit.  That alert was shared on Facebook as well. They wanted everybody to know that Mayor Bing has had it! Mayor Bing has stated that he is not in favor of Governor Snyder’s Consent Agreement plans for the city of Detroit. In fact, Bing claims Snyder has been disingenuous the whole time.  WOW, YOU DON’T SAY?!

I admit it.  I was ready to blast Mayor Bing for giving up on recovering $220 million in funds that he said was owed to the city by the state.  Also he was ready to accept state assistance in handling Detroit’s current financial crisis citing several meetings with Governor Snyder.  All that has changed now and the Governor’s plans have been exposed.

Mayor Bing is so upset that the word “disingenuous” appears often in this media alert.  If you go to thesaurus.com and punch in “disingenuous”, you get the following synonyms; deceitful, artful, cunning, tricky, false, dishonest, sly, unfair, two-faced, underhanded to name a few.  The word “disingenuous” appears in three out the six paragraphs comprising the media alert! Governor Snyder must be one disingenuous rascal! I knew that from day one.

Prior to being elected Governor, Snyder did not campaign anywhere near Detroit.  Snyder refused to even debate in Detroit.  So it doesn’t surprise me one bit that his Consent Agreement contains some very disturbing details.  Governor Snyder said that the agreement leaves the elected officials in charge but this is not the case. Here’s a quote from the media alert:

“He’s being disingenuous when he says this agreement leaves elected officials in charge of the City. In fact, the proposed, nine-member advisory board selects and “oversees” the functions of the City’s COO, CFO and Human Resources director – not the elected Mayor.  This proposal also circumvents the role and power of the City Council as the legislative body, waives the ability of elected officials to contest any aspect of the agreement, and dismisses the unprecedented effort and concessions made by the City’s labor unions to avoid an economic catastrophe.”

Detroiters do not want a state takeover but I feel it may be in evitable in some shape or form.  The city is still losing money and people are still losing jobs.  Nobody trusts Governor Snyder but we may have no choice. Holla if you hear me!

-K. Greene