It's mind-boggling to consider the anti-democratic, autocratic way Governor Rick Snyder has gone about destroying cities in the state of Michigan. It's even more mind-boggling to discover that the guy primarily responsible for switching the city of Flint to Flint River water isn't barred from public management of anything at all, but is actually in charge of Detroit's public school system!
Darnell Earley was the man in charge in Flint, and made the decision to flip the switch on Flint's water from the Detroit system to the Flint River. Now we've got an entire city poisoned as a result of that decision.
But as Chris Savage at Eclectablog writes, Earley is still the man in charge of Detroit's public school system, and the man primarily responsible for the situation which exists in Flint today.
According to Chris, the smoking gun is in an email from Earley to the Detroit Public Water System.
Thank you for the correspondence dated February 12, 2014 which provides Flint with the option of continuing to purchase water from DWSD following the termination of the current contract as of April 17, 2014.
Following DWSD’s April 17, 2013 notice of termination of the water service contract between the City of Flint and DWSD, the City of Flint has actively pursued using the Flint River as a temporary water source while the KWA pipeline is being constructed. We expect that the Flint Water Treatment Plant will be fully operational and capable of treating Flint River water prior to the date of termination. In that case, there will be no need for Flint to continue purchasing water to serve its residents and businesses after April 17, 2014.
"This chutzpah and single-minded focus only on the economics of the situation with a total disregard to warnings about the impact of Flint River water chemistry tells us a great deal about how Darnell Earley operates," writes Chris.
But it doesn't stop there, because Darnell Earley is also the "emergency manager" of the Detroit Public School system, and he's coming at it with the same arrogance and lack of regard for public safety that he did in Flint.
Detroit teachers have been protesting the horrible conditions in their schools. I've seen complaints about mold issues, rotting classrooms and more.
Savage writes, "The sick outs, which have not been organized by their union, the Detroit Teachers Federation, reached their zenith on Monday when 64 DPS schools were closed due to a lack of teachers with two-thirds of the students impacted."
Who is responsible for the conditions in Detroit schools? Darnell Earley, of course.
When the Mayor of Detroit toured the schools, he was horrified.
"We've seen a couple of school buildings that are well-maintained and then saw some conditions that were deeply disturbing, including a school where the children have no gym class because the gym floor is buckled from roof leaks," Duggan said.
He said it was "heartbreaking" to see some kids wearing coats in the morning until classrooms warm up by lunch.
Of course, Mayor Duggan has no control over how the schools are managed, because they are under the control of the undemocratic and dictatorial Emergency Manager.
For all of his tears and hand-wringing, Governor Rick Snyder isn't inclined to do much about anything. He's "sorry" about conditions, but thinks sick-outs are mean and punitive.
To which I counter with the idea that perhaps he should think of Emergency Managers who only think about money and not people as the mean and punitive ones.
If you're not reading Eclectablog, I highly recommend it. Chris, Anne and their team have the best local coverage of Michigan to be found anywhere.