It is critically important that the record be set straightabout the decision-making and approval processes that led to Flint joining theKaregnondi Water Authority (KWA) with the use of Flint River water as theinterim water supply. The fact is, the river has served and been used as theback-up supply for decades, and this was the rationale given to me by staff andMayor Walling, who also serves as chairperson of the KWA board. Contrary toreports in the media and rhetoric being espoused by individuals, the decisionwas made at the local level, by local civic leaders.
The decision toseparate from Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and go with the KWA, whichincluded the decision to pump Flint River water in the interim, were part of along-term plan that was approved by Flint\’s mayor and confirmed by a CityCouncil vote of 7-1 on March 25, 2013. This plan was presented to me when I wasappointed as Flint emergency manager in October 2013 – a full seven monthsafter the City Council\’s affirmative vote.
Genesee County DrainCommissioner Jeff Wright also made the affirmative vote by the City Council anecessary condition of joining the KWA, and applauded the decision in a March26, 2013, news release, ” … I have said from the beginning that this decisionmust be made by Flint\’s City Council and Mayor … I am glad that the residentsof Flint were able to have their voices heard via their elected officials.”
The mayor\’s approvalof the plan and the subsequent near unanimous vote by City Council were in noway coerced, forced or demanded by the state, nor any emergency manager.Council\’s affirmative vote was supported and signed as an Executive Order bythen-Emergency Manager Edward Kurtz on March 29, 2013. A subsequent order Kurtzsigned on June 26, 2013, speaks specifically to “… upgrading of the Flint WaterPlant to ready it to treat water from the Flint River to serve as the primarydrinking water source for approximately two years and then converting to KWAdelivered lake water.”