City's water woes may play big role in upcoming mayoral election - WNEM TV 5

City's water woes may play big role in upcoming mayoral election

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No doubt about it. Water is on the minds of every voter in the upcoming mayoral election in Flint.

"Flint's water problem is the number one issue that everyone is talking about," said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.

Numerous problems with Flint River water have plagued the vehicle city since 2014. Now residents are living with high amounts of lead in their tap water.

Many of those people have pinned the blame on Walling including former emergency manager Darnell Early.

In a statement he said he was only implementing the plan laid out by the mayor and city council and said the decision to switch to Flint River water was made long before he became EFM.

Walling disagrees.

"The decision about the flint river was made by prior emergency managers. It was before the time of Darnell Early, he's accurate on that point. But city council and I were just simply not involved," Walling said.

Walling's opponent, Karen Weaver, paints a much different picture.

"He wants to say that it wasn't his decision to do that," Weaver said. "Well, if it wasn't, he sure never spoke out about it not being his decision. He was the one that said it was fine. He was the one that said we could stay with the flint water. He was the one that said brown water was OK to drink."

With Election Day just weeks away, it won’t be a long wait to see what the voters decide.

Will the city's water woes doom its incumbent mayor? Or will the people choose him as the one to lead Flint out of this crisis? It all depends on who you ask.

"So when you're elected to represent the people than do that. Do that because that's what I plan to do," Weaver said.

Walling said, "I have a comprehensive plan that's detailed. That will secure this community's future and also protect us here now."

Flint residents have also started a petition to get the Obama Administration involved.

The petition was posted on the White House's official website on Sept. 28.

"Flint Michigan residents need CLEAN SAFE WATER NOW! Levels of lead are so high that children have lead poisoning. It is unsafe to drink," the petition reads.

The petition needs 100,000 signatures before Oct. 28.

To read the petition in full click here.

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