Skubick: Is Snyder in his greatest difficulty with Flint water debacle?

- It seems every governor is tested at some point on issues he or she can't control. It's the kinda of stuff that comes out of left field that they don't prepare you for in governor school. 

Former Gov. William Milliken had his PBB crisis. Ninety percent of the state's population unknowingly consumed the fire-retardant PBB. It was accidently mixed into cattle feed that was then fed to the animals who then passed it on into the human food chain. Afterwards, he confessed mistakes were made and the situation "got out of hand."

Some are beginning to think this governor's PBB crisis is the lead-in-the-Flint-water-supply story and this administration confesses mistakes were made here, too.

It's what you do after the mistakes that counts.

The Milliiken administration never advised the public that PBB was not a health threat.  It didn't know what it was.

Early on the Snyder administration told the lead-exposed Flint population not to worry and it was only recently that that miscue was admitted as everyone suspects lead in your body is not a good thing.

It was the Department of Environmental Quality director Dan Wyant who had to eat his earlier words, admitting that the "tone" of his department's response was wrong and staffers applied the wrong standards to the water problem. Now he's on a mission to make sure it does not happen again.

That's not good enough for the state Democratic Party chair. Brandon Dillon who wants the governor to fire Mr. Wyant for putting the citizens at risk.

The governor wants an independent review team to paw over what happened, why it happened, and nail down what mistakes were made.

Critics contend there were red flags all over the joint. The contamination lingered for more than a year and while residents complained, Lansing watched.

Last week, after lab tests had earlier confirmed high levels of lead in some school kids, the governor and lawmakers moved quickly to send $9.3 million into the city for new water and new testing.

As Lansing political consultant Kelly Rossman states, "It's not how you lead in the good times. That's easy. That's a Cake Walk. It's how do you lead in times of greatest difficulty." And like Mr. Milliken, Mr. Snyder may be in the middle of his greatest difficulty to date.
 


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