FLINT (WJRT) - (07/06/17) - Some members of the Flint City Council say they have been excluded from key information regarding a long term water contract and they want that to change.
Five city council members held a noon news conference to complain that the state and Mayor Karen Weaver have not invited them to important meetings to talk about a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), which is currently the city's water source. They say the state and mayor have been dishonest in their dealings with city council.
“It smells," said Jackie Poplar, 2nd Ward city council member.
That sums up how five members of the city council feel about Weaver signing an agreement promising the city of Flint would stay on water from Detroit, known as GLWA. Fourth Ward Council member Kate Fields reviewed a number of meetings involving the state and the mayor's office where the long term contract with GLWA was discussed.
"We literally have to do our own follow up research to find out what's happening in the city," Fields said.
She says the council doesn't know the reason for what she calls “deceptions”.
"I think we're being excluded on all fronts. Why you have, you have to ask yourself: Why is it usually that people are trying to keep you uninformed? Must be something they don't want you to know about," Fields said.
On June 26, the city council failed to approve a long term contract with GLWA. They say the state and mayor have deliberately excluded city council from important meetings.
"We've been treated like this before. Why do we let them do this to us and pressure us?" said Vickie VanBuren, 8th Ward council member.
Weaver says the water negotiations were always done in the open and the council was always included.
"We put our plan forward. We put our recommendation forward. And everybody had ample time to look at it. These stall tactics are just that," Weaver said.
The Michigan DEQ filed a federal lawsuit last week, saying the city's failure to act will cause an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health in Flint.