Judge sets hearing date in response to state's emergency request regarding GLWA contract, mayor authority

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FLINT (WJRT) - (11/04/17) - The Flint City Council Water Advisory Committee and other members of city council held a short press conference Saturday morning. It comes on the heels of a judge's response to an emergency motion by the MDEQ.

Councilpersons Kate Fields, Scott Kincaid and Herbert Winfrey are members of that committee. Winfrey was the only person of the committee not in attendance at the press conference.

Fields said, "Council has instructed their attorney to vehemently oppose this attempt to usurp power by Mayor Weaver."

Fields addressed the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's request for a federal judge to give new power to Mayor Karen Weaver.

MDEQ wants Judge David Lawson to unilaterally authorize Weaver to sign a 30-year proposed agreement between the City of Flint and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).

MDEQ filed the emergency request Friday, asking for a decision before Tuesday's recall election.

Late Friday, Lawson issued an order. He said the city council and the City of Flint could respond to MDEQ's motion on or before November 9, 2017.

Lawson had previously ordered the council to come up with a long-term water source by Oct. 23. The council responded by proposing a two-year GLWA deal instead. The city is currently operating on a monthly contract with GLWA, which Mayor Weaver says is putting a strain on the city's finances.

Lawson has now set a date to hear MDEQ's emergency motion for November 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Councilwoman Monica Galloway and council president Kerry Nelson were also at the press conference, backing the council's decision to not sign off on the 30-year deal.

Vicki VanBuren attended but did not speak.

Councilman Eric Mays effectively ended the press conference when he says he intentionally interrupted the gathering. He says he was not notified and called it an illegal meeting.

Councilmembers Wantwaz Davis and Jacqueline Poplar were not there.

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