Jackson City Council says “no” to proposed commission

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JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – The Flint water crisis has city officials across Michigan talking about how to protect their water and the people who live there. In Jackson, someone came up with the idea to not only create a commission but an ordinance to look into the quality of water, along with the air and land.

The Jackson city council determined during the latest meeting that it wasn’t quite yet the right time to have an environmental commission or to have a lead risk assessment ordinance.

Ward 2 Jackson Council Member Freddie Dancy said, “I know they want a commission, but if anything was going to happen they could still come to the council instead of having a commission.”

The proposed Environmental Commission would have put policies in place to make sure the city’s land, water, and air quality were protected.

Jackson Vice Mayor Derek Dobies said, “we have a big hole in terms of stewardship, environmental sustainability, and safety in terms of public health at city hall that could be filled through an environmental commission.”

Close to 11-percent of kids in the City of Jackson tested for high concentrated lead blood levels, second in the state. Yet, the motion to bring a lead risk assessment ordinance failed.

“You know we have to get serious about disclosing those risks to those that they are potentially in areas where they are potentially in exposure to lead poisoning,” said Dobies.

Some members believed there is a better way of monitoring lead.

“Involving the county health department, maybe the center for family health. Getting them involved and just maybe getting a collaboration together and just going out and education people,” said Dancy.

So, it’s not a debate of whether or not the work should be done. Rather who should do it.

Jackson city council members say they would not be surprised if plans for these commissions come up for a vote again.

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