Flint City Council shares questions and concerns related to water settlement during special meeting

Council members are facing a big decision with a wide impact
Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 1:02 AM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (12/10/2020) - The clock is ticking to make a decision: will the city of Flint join in on the $640 million water settlement?

On Thursday night, Flint City Council spoke directly to the attorneys, asking questions and addressing their concerns during a special meeting.

Concerns included that by the time the settlement is divided up between Flint’s children, those with health conditions, and the attorneys, they fear adult property owners without personal injury documentation won’t get their fair share.

“This is not enough! I’m looking at these percentages, and see, I was a math teacher. I know percentages, and I know that the residents here in the city of Flint will not get anything. They will not be compensated,” Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter said during the meeting.

The meeting got heated, and that’s because the clock is ticking, which brings us to a question from Council President, Kate Fields.

She asked, “Who set the final decision settlement date of December 31, 2020?

Attorney Rick Berg from the Betzel Long Law Firm responded, “The nature of the settlement agreement is such that the state and the plaintiff’s’ lawyers who represents all the citizens spent years negotiating this and probably months if not a year writing it up, and when they came to the city with the agreement, it was with the option that we could join it, so it was not a document that we were permitted to change.”

Council members are facing a big decision with a wide impact. Vice President Maurice Davis asked how it would impact the people of Flint if they vote to opt out.

Berg said, “If we have, as I said, hundreds of these cases, and we have hundreds of judgements against the city because it decided not to settle, it is exposed to that liability in these lawsuits, and that liability ends up being transferred to the citizens.”

City Council is expecting to vote in their next meeting on Monday, December 14, but they could meet again on or before then to discuss this further.

To watch the full meeting, click here.

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