State ends oversight of Flint, local control restored to city
After more than six years of state oversight, the city of Flint is finally emerging from receivership.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver could hardly contain her feelings about the end of state oversight of her city.
“I’m excited. I’m glad they’re gone,” Weaver told reporters after the news broke this afternoon.
The city of Flint is the last Michigan municipality to be under state financial oversight through a Receivership Transition Advisory Board.
Governor Snyder put Flint under state oversight in the fall of 2011, after the state treasury department found the city was in a financial emergency.
Flint’s day-to-day operations were under an emergency manager until early 2015. For the past three years, a five-member Receivership Transition Advisory Board has held veto power over the city’s elected leaders. That is now ending.
“City management and elected leadership have worked hard to put Flint on a stronger path,” Gov. Snyder said. “With continuing cooperation between the city and state, Flint has an opportunity 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.”
Under an appointed emergency manager, the city’s finances recovered. But the city was also plunged into a crisis over its drinking water, from which it is still slowly recovering. Flint is still replacing thousands of pipes to reduce the risk of lead leeching into the drinking water, and many Flint residents still rely on the government for bottled water.
Even though state oversight had ended, Mayor Weaver says Flint still needs Lansing’s help to fix things.
“We’re still working with the state,” says Weaver. “We still want some more things from the state.”
Weaver hopes state officials won’t use the end of state oversight as an “excuse” for not helping the city recover.
If they do, Flint City Councilman Santino Guerra says Flint residents need to stay “positive.”
“We got to be ready to rally down there and say, “You started this mess,” says Guerra. “Let’s make sure we clean it up together.”