To the editor:
I want to talk about what happened in Flint, Michigan. Flint was once a normal town with a normal workforce. Then, the city began to plummet starting in the 1960s through urban decay, de-investment, white flight, de-industrialization and the outsourcing of jobs. Today, about 46 percent of Flint residents under the poverty line. But the problem is how do you pay for public services when your residents are too poor to pay taxes?
The poor city even had to be put under state control in 2002 and again in 2013. But, it was the second time that got noticed. In order to save money any way possible, the state government under an appointed manager recklessly put the impoverished residents of Flint at risk. The water supply was moved from Lake Huron to the Flint River without realizing the pipes were so old that lead was leaking into the water supply. The result? Flint's residents were drinking contaminated water. Some even died from the waterborne Legionnaires' disease.
The point? Understand that cost cutting without morals can lead to danger. Flint was in it's crisis by no fault of its own but paid the price. A city in America could no longer drink its own water. So, when I see Republicans insisting on reducing the size of government programs and government oversight programs, I think of Flint and I cringe. Why? Because if you do not adequately fund necessary programs, you put public safety at risk and you get Flint.
William Cory Labovitch
South Saint Paul