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Topic: Weaver: Weaving a pattern of deceit

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El Supremo

Flint council shunned from water talks because of bad behavior, mayor says
Updated on July 7, 2017 at 2:48 PM Posted on July 7, 2017 at 8:08 AM

By Oona Goodin-Smith


FLINT, MI - Five Flint City Council members say they were "deliberately excluded" by the state and Mayor Karen Weaver from decision-making meetings on the city's future water source.

Weaver said, however, that council members wore out their welcome with the state after "a fight almost broke out" during a meeting last summer.

During a press conference in City Council chambers on Thursday, July 6, Fourth Ward Councilperson Kate Fields - backed by council members Monica Galloway, Vicki Van Buren and President Kerry Nelson - produced state officials' emails, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and said that state and city officials decided on the future of Flint's water long before contract options were introduced to the council or the public.

"We literally have to do our own followup research to find out what's happening in this city and we're elected to represent the citizens of Flint," Fields said. "We've been deliberately excluded from all meetings ... so I think we're being excluded on all fronts. Why is it usually that people are trying to keep you uninformed? Must be something they don't want you to know about."

Fields, who said she sent FOIA requests to numerous state and city agencies to learn more about Flint's proposed water options, pointed to an email exchange between Sue McCormick, chief executive officer of the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), and state-appointed Flint water consultant John Young from Feb. 28, 2017.

In an email, Young asked McCormick to "please review the attached document (that I threw together in the last 20 minutes) and provide comments."

"I need to get this to the Governor today," Young's letter said.

The email attachment included an outline of a plan for Flint to rely on GLWA as its primary water source and the Genesee County Drainage Commission as its back-up source.

Weaver endorsed the plan in April after it was presented to the council, while Gov. Rick Snyder announced his support for the option in May.

But, highlighting a meeting on March 6, Fields said that the state and mayor's minds were made up long before April 18, when the water options were introduced to the council.

Fields said the meeting in March was between Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), state treasury, EPA, GLWA, Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA), Genesee County Drain Commission (GCDC), Weaver, interim Flint Finance Director David Sabuda and Weaver's unpaid volunteer adviser, Aonie Gilcreast.

"City Council was not invited, nor were they aware of this meeting," Fields said. "At this meeting, Mr. Young presented his ... water source choice analysis and recommended the option of GLWA as primary and GCDC as back-up. At this time, GLWA and the mayor supported John Young's and the state's choice for water supply."

Flint council fires back against water deal backed by Weaver, Snyder

Flint council fires back against water deal backed by Weaver, Snyder

Flint City Council says the city needs to allow more time for public input before voting on the future of Flint's water source and entering into a contract recommended by Mayor Karen Weaver and Gov. Rick Snyder.

Flanked by members of her administration, Weaver fielded media questions at a podium in her office immediately after the council members' press conference.

"I don't know where people think water's going to come from, but it's only going to come from Great Lakes or KWA," Weaver said. "And some people seem to be missing that point ... that plan wasn't thrown together in 20 minutes. We could've birthed a baby - that's how long that plan took to put together. It might've taken 20 minutes to put an email together, so if they can't read that and can't understand what it means, I can't help that."

Weaver said that Nelson and First Ward Councilmember Eric Mays were initially invited to a planning meeting with the governor and other "key players," but it "ended up going just like council meetings go, and next thing we know, secret service is called in because a fight almost broke out."

Weaver would not say who almost got in a fight during the meeting, nor the date of the meeting in question, but said that it was at the beginning of the water negotiations.

City spokesperson Kristin Moore clarified that by "secret service," the mayor was referring to Snyder's security detail.

Mays said he recalled a meeting with the mayor and governor in June 2016, but said that he didn't recall a fight.

"I raised my voice, you know me, and made my point and left," Mays said.

Shouting matches and heated exchanges - often involving Mays - are a regular affair in Flint city council meetings.

Weaver said that it was after this incident that her administration and the state decided it was best if Young attended council meetings to relay information from the water negotiations rather than have council members present.

However, Nelson said that council should have had a seat at the negotiating table, or else it cannot adequately represent its constituents.

Fields, calling the water source vote "one of the most important decisions council will ever make," said the council is looking at hiring independent analysis to assess the options available.

"The two entities -- the state of Michigan ... and the (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality -- that) have failed in their duties to protect the safety and well-being of this community through poor oversight are now abusing their power to force the Flint City Council to support a recommendation that is not proven," Galloway said in a letter Monday, June 26.

"It smells, it leaves a stink on you," Van Buren said, regarding the 30-year proposed contract with GLWA. "You know something doesn't feel right. People in the community come up to you and say this doesn't feel right. It's a gut feeling and we've felt it before. Why do we allow them to pressure us, when they, the state, is at fault for doing this to our community? We need to be strong, we need to keep our eyes open, and create a better deal that will be good for our children. Thirty years is a long time ... Let's take care of Flint, but let's do it the right way."

At a committee meeting later in the day on July 6, council voted to postpone discussion on the 30-year contract another two weeks in light of Fields' newly-received information.

Council previously voted to enact a short-term contract with GLWA through the end of September to give it more time to decide on a longer contract option.

After a night of explosive exchanges between council members, the public – and, at one point, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver – Flint City Council voted to extend the city's contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority to September.

Because Flint did not approve the long-term water plan with GLWA by the beginning of the fiscal year, MDEQ filed a complaint Wednesday, June 28, in Detroit U.S. District Court, claiming Flint is in violation of a settlement agreement in a civil lawsuit filed by the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, an emergency administrative order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Current players in the suit are attorneys from the state and mayor's office. Fields said the council is looking at obtaining a separate attorney to represent its views in the lawsuit.
Post Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:38 am 
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El Supremo

Weaver had to know there would be a fight when she invited Mays, the only council person who acts like her lap dog!

She will be hard pressed in court to explain why she denied Council a seat at the table!
Post Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:42 am 
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El Supremo

Michigan Radio

Police prevent water protesters from entering Flint city hall

Flint police prevent water crisis protesters from entering city hall
Flint police officers blocked water crisis protesters from entering Flint city hall today.

Chanting “Flint Lives Matter!” and “No Justice, No Peace”, dozens of protesters, dressed in black, marched on city hall to demand lower water bills and continued bottled water distribution.

Organizer Jeff Hawkins says these are demands everyone in Flint should agree with.

“But when it seems like there’s bickering and fighting between mayor and council — and council and council — and all this infighting than the residents are the ones who get left out,” says Hawkins.

Numerous groups took part in the morning march.

“We’re here to show support for the people of Flint,” says Tim Grey, with Redneck Revolt-northern lower Michigan, “We demand that the problems be fixed.”

Dressed in black, dozens of protesters demanded lower water rates and continued bottled water distribution in Flint.
During the three years of Flint’s water crisis, there have been numerous marches and rallies held. However, unlike many of those marches, this time there was a noticeable police presence.

Motorcycle cops followed the marchers. At city hall, police vehicles blocked the entrance of city hall, officers held back the crowd and a helicopter flew overhead.

Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson says the added security was due to some of the protesters carrying firearms.

The protesters had to settle to hand over their demands to City Administrator Sylvester Jones on the sidewalk. Jones tried to tell the protesters the mayor is working on each of their demands. But several protesters shouted him down.

“I don’t think they’re listening,” Jones said as he walked away.

Organizer Jeff Hawkins says Flint’s elected leaders may face angry voters in next month’s primary election.

“If we’re not getting fair representation, we should then make sure we vote people in that we believe will give us fair representation,” says Hawkins.
Post Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:46 am 
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El Supremo

Another strong police presence like the church fiasco. is this more police overtime or was anyone left on shift to guard the city?

other government agencies create rules (ordinances) that forbid open carry on their premises.
Post Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:49 am 
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El Supremo


Donna Ashburn-Poplar
10 hrs ·
BREAKING and DISTURBING NEWS: Gilcreast, and Eric Mays solicit a copy of the 8,848 RECALL PETITION SIGNATURES that was submitted against Mayor Weaver. Weaver and her Chief of Police Tim Johnson are using active Uniformed Police Officers in Police Cruisers to go to people's houses who signed the RECALL PETITION against Weaver and asking them did they sign the RECALL PETITION and was the Circulator the person as indicated on the Recall Petition sheet. What angers me about this, is that this is NOT the authorized role of an active Flint Police Officer especially when their is NO open investigation or a complaint made with the ELECTION DIVISION or the City or County Clerk, and the mere fact that the 8,848 RECALL SIGNATURES against Weaver have NOT yet been certified. Therefore, there is NOTHING to challenge at this time. So, to those who signed the RECALL PETITION when a Police Officer or anyone for that matter come to your home questioning you about signing the RECALL PETITION, you ask them under what Authority and Jurisdiction are they operating under. And know this you DON'T have to answer their questions. And what really angers me and should anger everyone, is that Weaver can NOT get the Police to respond to the crime and senseless murders in Flint or respond to 911 calls and to investigate Eric Mays for STEALING and pawning the City owned Laptop assigned to him more than 5 times for his personal gain, nor have she used uniformed Police Officers to knock doors and investigate how the people feel about using POSION TOXIC LEAD FILLED WATER. But she can get the Police to go to individuals homes to intimidate and confirm rather or not if they signed the RECALL PETITION SHEET against her. In hopes to find people who signed the RECALL PETITION SHEET to say that the Circulator was someone other than the person indicated as the Circulator. AC Dumas of all people, who fraudulently requested, voted and signed his son and sister's Absentee Ballots when he ran UNSUCCESSFULLY for the 3rd Ward City Council seat in 2015, got the nerve to call Petition Circulators who he knows and asking them did they circulate Recall Petition sheets against Weaver and if so why. This information will be reported to the State Election Division, the County Clerk, the City of Flint City Clerk and ALL Local and surrounding Media Outlets. This desperate action of Mayor Weaver, the Chief of Police and the select Police Officers, Gilcreast and others is a blatant MISUSE of Tax Payers MONEY, a clear act of VOTER INTIMIDATION and a strong indication of Weaver's FEAR of being RECALLED. Chief Johnson, Gilcreast, Woodrow Stanley, Pastor Allen Overton, AC Dumas and other Political Operatives know that if Weaver is OUSTED they lose control over the TAX PAYER'S MONEY, over contracts and over city business. Stay ALERT people and WATCH how this plays out. It wouldn't surprise me if they try to have bodily harm done to those of us who worked to get the signatures or to have the Chief charge us with BOGUS CRIMINAL CHARGES. I got on the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, I AM IN THE FIGHT, I AM ON THE BATTLEFIELD AND I AM NOT AFRAID. PRAY FOR ME and those of us who are FIGHTING for EQUALITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE and BETTER UNCORRUPTED GOVERNMENT for FLINT. Think on this and be Blessed. I humbly asked that you SHARE THIS POST. The WORD OF GOD says MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED BECAUSE OF A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE . You may not for what ever reason be able to publicly come out front and join in the fight, but prayerfully you may be willing to share this post without fear of reprisal. Thank you
Post Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:56 am 
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El Supremo

Joel Ferguson, RTAB member, donated $1,250 to the Weaver Campaign on 9-29-16.

When 7th ward councilperson Monica Galloway on March 16,2016, told the RTAb board that she was unclear on their role, Chairperson Headen gave her a brief explanation. Headen affirmed that RTAB doesn't run the city day-to-day and they don't direct the Council, Mayor, or staff. RTAB generally responds to the actions by city officials and approve the resolutions of Council, said Headen. Headen noted RTAB had been given one duty, that of be able to modify, amend, or change Emergency Manager orders.

Galloway also commented that she did not support the job description's of the Mayor's new appointees nor did she support the ending of the termination of Natasha Henderson and the resultant contractual liabilities and costs. Galloway stated she wanted the Mayor to be accountable but believed Weaver said one thing and the Governor another.
Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:42 pm 
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El Supremo

Ferguson's response was very telling.
"Because someone who really didn't respect us put handcuffs on the city and wrote a contract to lock some one in forever, you know, doesn't mean we should use that as a reason to keep them around. If we decided that we have an election and we elected someone to be Mayor, besides giving them the tools to operate, we can't use a bad contract as an excuse."..

But as the City Council, you can't say you support the Mayor and not give her the tools to operate. And also use a bad contract asa reason not to be supportive in moving someone, and let the court decide and let someone else decide what that's going to be. That won't change if you do or you don't. So I just think you should- you know, I guess I believe in a bully pulpit. So I'm ust saying that what I think should happen, because we now have the support of the Mayor, and I think it's your ob to support the Mayor by giving her the tools and let someone else decide if that person really has standing on this bad contract, because either way you have to pay."
Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:00 pm 
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El Supremo

(page 33 of 65)
Referencing the role of higher education in the Mayor's selections and the hiring of a consultant to assist jones in learning municipal policies:
" While I've been very active in education,my degree is in elementary education, and I've been Chairman of Michigan State for 10 years, so Iam into education and believe that. But also I'm a person that believes that sometimes in-kind, without having-- and especially a number of us in this room, when I look at all of us who look like each other, that some of us who have wonderful in-kind experiences that in many cases supercede this education."

In reality, Ferguson's actions and comments don't seem very neutral. In the September RTAB meeting , Galloway addressed ferguson's comments again. She revealed that Headen had contacted he r to advise her that not everyone on RTAB had the same beliefs as did Ferguson. Ferguson the made arrangements to talk to Galloway on a one-to one discussion.
Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:20 pm 
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El Supremo

Governor Snyder's right hand man was also at the same fundraiser as Ferguson and also gave a large donation using his controversial second home address. Remember how Snyder stepped in and took local companies ( and some incompetent) out of the mix in Smth Village? He replaced them with a company from the western side of the state that contributed to his campaign.

Now at least one of the subcontractors from Jackson and is large enough to have a lion's share of the contract. They have worked in Ohio and other states.

When local contractors asked about subcontractors, I didn't see any response.

Interesting WT Stevens has a 70% increase in revenue.
Post Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:05 am 
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El Supremo

Atlanta Black Star

Home National Black-Owned Construction Company Awarded Contract to Replace Flint Water Pipes
Black-Owned Construction Company Awarded Contract to Replace Flint Water Pipes
By Tanasia Kenney - May 21, 201707219

Rhonda Grayer serves as vice president of Black-owned firm W.T. Stevens Construction in Flint, Mich. (Image courtesy of The Hub Flint.com)
A Black-owned construction company in the heart of Flint, Mich., is slated to play a key role in the city’s recovery following a crippling water contamination crisis.

W.T. Stevens Construction, a minority- and woman-owned business enterprise employing about 25 full- and part-time workers, has been awarded a major contract to replace more than 18,000 lead corroded water pipes across the city. The firm was one of four companies awarded a contract but is the only Black-owned and locally based company to ink a multimillion-dollar service deal to carry out the gargantuan project, The Network Journal reported.

“This is home for me and my family, and I was not going to sit back and do nothing as a person or as a businessman,” project manager Jeff Grayer told the magazine. “This is the biggest project our company has ever done and as a result of the water line contract, our gross revenues have increased by about 70 percent.”

Grayer, a former NBA player with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, works alongside his wife, Rhonda, who heads the company as vice president. The family firm has been in business for 25 years, carrying on the work and legacy of Rhonda Grayer’s father, who the company is named after.

The city of Flint suffered a contamination crisis after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the city’s water source from Detroit’s water to the contaminated Flint River, causing toxic lead to leach into the drinking water. Thousands of men, women and children became sick after they were unknowingly exposed to the lead-tainted water for months before the state notified them of the crisis. It’s been three years since the switch, but many of the city’s residents are still forced to rely on bottled and/or filtered water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

In March 2017, a federal magistrate approved a $97-million settlement mandating that the city replace thousands of contaminated lead pipes. Jeff Grayer said almost 800 waterlines have been replaced so far and 6,000 are expected to be replaced by the end of the year.

“The target is to have all 18,000 lead corroded residential pipes replaced by December 2019,” he told The Journal Network.

Rhonda Grayer rejoiced at the opportunity to rebuild Flint and help those in need.

“I will tell you that it is really exciting and the most important part of it is the opportunity to employ people who may not have had other opportunities,” she said.

More than $250 million in private and federal funds have since been earmarked to help Flint recover from the man-made crisis.
Post Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:08 am 
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