Snyder ends state oversight for Flint

Leonard N. Fleming

Gov. Rick Snyder announced Wednesday that he is signing an order to release Flint from receivership and state oversight.

The decision by the last-term Republican governor, who has been under fire for his selection of emergency managers to the Genesee County city and handling of the Flint water crisis, came at the behest of the Flint Receivership Transition Advisory Board.

Flint is the final city to be released from state oversight. The lead contamination crisis was blamed in part by two emergency managers appointed by Snyder who switched to the Flint River that lead to a lead-in-water crisis that poisoned thousands and lead to the deaths of 12 people of Legionnaires’ disease.

“City management and elected leadership have worked hard to put Flint on a stronger path,” the governor said in a statement. “With continuing cooperation between the city and state, Flint has an opportunity to take advantage of the momentum being felt around the city in terms of economic development, which can lead to stronger budgets and improved services for residents.”

State Treasury officials said in a statement that Treasurer Nick Khouri will sign a “Flint RTAB resolution that repeals all remaining emergency manager orders.”

Snyder put the city under state emergency management in 2011 after its finances deteriorated, sidelining the mayor and city council.

‘We’ve just got our divorce,” an elated Mayor Karen Weaver said Wednesday when asked about the news. “I feel real good about it.

“I remember when I was campaigning (in 2015) — it was one of the things I talked about, was I wanted to work on getting home rule back to the city of Flint. I know it’s how we got into this mess (the water crisis), was having an emergency manager and our voice being taken from the city and taking the power away from the local elected officials. We’ve shown that we’ve been responsible, and we’re moving this city forward.”

A financial review team in November 2011 ruled that a “financial emergency existed” in Flint and that the city had no “satisfactory plan in place to address the city’s fiscal problems.”

Flint was under an emergency manager from that time until shortly after Weaver was elected in November 2015.

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