Toledo Talk

Toledo's mayor compares city-caused water issue to 9/11 terrorist attack

Aug 19, 2014 - Toledo Blade - Mayor says water crisis is similar to 9/11

Mayor D. Michael Collins said on Monday that the water emergency that crippled Toledo’s water supply Aug. 2 was like the terrorist attack suffered by the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 — a wake-up call to community action.

Mr. Collins said in an interview with The Blade’s editorial board and a Blade reporter that just as 9/​11 created a change in Americans’ attitude toward terrorism preparedness, so the great algae bloom of 2014 should not be ignored.

“I’m looking at the events of August 1st through 4th as not dissimilar to the events that took place in New York City in 2001. While we didn’t have a terrorist attack, we had an environmental attack. I look at this as a wake-up call,” Mr. Collins said.

Offensive, obscene, deranged, etc. It's hard to describe how bad Collins now appears.

If a wake-up call exists, it's to the residents of Toledo, and how they allow such dolts to get elected to city government.

This part of the Blade story is either incorrect or incomplete:

From Aug. 2 to Aug. 4, metro Toledoans were forced, with no warning, to rely on bottled and trucked-in water for drinking ...

The City of Oregon, which borders Toledo, was unaffected by Toledo's water crisis because Oregon has its own intake crib in Lake Erie. We filled containers with Oregon's water. We drank Lake Erie water during Toledo's so-called water crisis.

Maybe the failed leaders of Toledo should try to gleam tips from the suburb of Oregon.

Excerpts from an Aug 19, 2014 comment by TT user justread:

Major Collins has compared the Aquamageddon (an over-reaction following equipment failure and poor planning for something we have seen every summer since 1995 without fail) to 9/11.

For me, it was NOT like 9/11. It was not a time of profound grief and reflection on life's purpose and the human capacity for destruction and hate. 2,977 people did NOT die at the hands of the criminally insane members of a radical group.

Collins says it was an "environmental attack."

Mike, look. We aren't stupid. You can spin this any way you want. But the bottom line is that algal blooms are a long-term low "overnight crisis" problem. I know, boring. Decades to fix. No executive orders. No perp. No dragnet. Boring.

You can try to turn it into an urgent emergency, but we know that the plant has been treating this, knows how to treat it, and has the capacity to treat it.

We also know that the flocculator was damaged and not functioning properly on August 1. We know (Thanks to the required EPA disclosure that just came in our most recent water bills) that your staff at the Collins Park plant RAN OUT of Alum and had to come up with a protocol to make sure that it wouldn't happen again.

You owe an apology to those whose lives were destroyed and changed forever for your comparison of 9/11 to a manufactured and temporary inconvenience. Algae didn't inspire people to leave their homes in the middle of the night to stand in line for water. Your Henny Penny reaction did. You, Mike, are the terrorist.

The handling of this "crisis" will cost us dearly for many years. What could have been an admission of a slip and a recommitment to quality has instead been spun as some sort of external voodoo. Suburbs are scrambling to find alternate sources of water. We've got an international PR problem akin to the burning Cuyahoga. The last big Cuyahoga River fire was in 1969.

It will take more than 50 years for the world to forget the "environmental attack" on Toledo. (Not Oregon, not Monroe, not Cleveland...)

Mayor Henny Penny, you have caused our community harm that will outlast most of our citizens' lifetimes. THAT is the only comparison to 9/11 that fits.

THAT is your legacy. Not bad for less than a year in office.

Collins was elected Toledo mayor in November 2013 with approximately a 25 percent voter turnout.

Excerpts from another Aug 19, 2014 comment by justread:

The upside of a recall initiative is not punitive. It's not about "I don't like Mike." He's likeable enough.

This isn't a popularity contest. This is serious. More serious than anything in recent memory.

The upside of a recall initiative is the creation of the opportunity to suggest to the world that it was a crisis of leadership not an "environmental attack" and to suggest to future candidates that we have a certain level of expectation that must be met.

Maybe a massive PR campaign, as expensive as it would be, is the best we can do. We need to change the message, even if we can't change the messenger.

Someone needs to convince him to back away from the catastrophe-speak and just own the dam mistake.

Not that we can put the genie back in the bottle, but at least we can get the genie on a leash.

That's what real leaders do.

created by jr on Aug 19, 2014 at 09:00:27 am
updated by jr on Aug 19, 2014 at 02:53:57 pm

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