By Robert Kleine, League board member and former Michigan treasurer: There is no question that Michigan has the some of the poorest, most decrepit cities in the United States. Flint regularly has among the highest homicide rates in the nation. Detroit, which has lost two-thirds of its population since the 1950s, is an international symbol of decay. This is not simply a matter of neglect; it’s a matter of policy.
The water crisis makes state aid even more urgent, because it’s going to drive down Flint’s already bargain-basement property values. Who’s going to buy a house in a city with lead-tainted water? Flint may never suffer another water crisis, but without structural changes to state and local government, its financial crises will never end. Feb. 1, 2016 — Washington Post