It's a good thing that Batman and Superman are only a county away, because Flint's Emergency Manager Darnell Earley just revealed himself as a supervillain hellbent on destroying our city. I'm using humor to make my point, but the future of Flint is no laughing matter.

It's no secret that Flint has some serious budget problems. Hell, that's why we had an Emergency Manager appointed in the first place. Darnell Earley is that man and he just announced his two year budget plan that will not only gut the police and fire departments, but will also hike water (and you know that's some bulls--- in light of the recent insourcing of our water supply, an unpopular move that was supposed to save us money), street lighting and solid waste fees.

The two year plan could lead to the elimination of 36 positions in the police department and 19 in the fire department. Earley referred to those specific cuts as "difficult choices" that had to be made to cover expenditures. He's not incorrect by saying we need to make some sacrifices, but in a city where public safety is already the #1 problem you can not make these specific cuts. Sure we'll possibly be on the path to being debt-free, but what will be left of the city by the time this two-year plan gets us there?

Flint City Councilman Wantwaz Davis called the potentially devestating cuts "a kick in the face" and he is 100% correct. I have given Mr. Davis a hard time in previous articles because of his criminal record, but how crazy is it that a convicted murderer continues to be the voice of reason in the arena of Flint politics?

The crime rate isn't in a great place now, but has been slowly improving over the past couple years. Get ready to see all of that progress go out the window when Mr. Earley's plan, which is more in line with that of a Bond villain than a public official, takes effect.

I love Flint. I was born and raised here and, even though I had other opportunities and options, I chose to start a family here as well. Flint was only beginning to decline when I was a young child, but to see what this town has become is heartbreaking. I keep hoping, for my kids' sake, that Flint will regain some of the greatness it had back when you could drop out of high school and fall into a good-paying career down the street at General Motors. Granted, the GM economy didn't end well for us, but there's no denying that we were much better off in those days.

Sadly, we are at the mercy of a madman who clearly gives zero f---s about the people that inhabit this city. This plan makes it clear that Darnell Earley is willing to put our lives in danger to save money. Making cuts that detrimentally affect our safety should not even be on the table... it's not like we're living in a crime-free utopia now. Kevin Smith of the Flint Police Officers Association warns that the cuts to the police force alone will cause crimes and police response times to "skyrocket."  We were just named the second most violent city in America, but these cuts will definitely have us back at the top of that unfortunate list.

If things continue moving in this direction, there won't be many of us left to see this city debt free. Think about that when you're looking at your precious "bottom line," Mr. Earley.

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