Benton Harbor residents speak up about recall petition against mayor

NOW: Benton Harbor residents speak up about recall petition against mayor

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. --- Water service has officially been restored for residents in Benton Harbor after Wednesday’s water main break. While crews were able to get water back up quickly the incident on top of the already taxing lead water crisis has many living there speaking up for a recall against Mayor Marcus Muhammad.

The recall petition was filed against the Mayor Tuesday by Benton Harbor Resident Quacy Roberts.

With long lines at water distribution sites Thursday marked another difficult day for residents due to the cold and rainy weather.

After almost 24 hours without running water, crews repaired the water line break, but it doesn’t mean much because the lead in the water restricts them from using it for almost anything.

Some living in Benton Harbor say enough is enough and they’re hoping the recall effort against Mayor Marcus Muhammad moves forward.

“I don’t feel that what he said was accurate or appropriate as far as saying that flint’s crisis was criminal and ours was financial. At this point if you can’t get the job done and get it done properly, yeah, you need to go and we need somebody to get in here that really cares about the community," said Jaimie Crum a Benton Harbor Resident.

“When it’s time to vote everybody be knocking on doors. You can’t get rid of people knocking on your door and now we in a pandemic, we ain’t got no water, and we in a water crisis and you ain’t got nobody knocking on the doors going from house to house,” said the Suel Family, Benton Harbor residents.

The Suel family a household of 5 has been struggling to keep it together during this time.

While they’re frustrated with what they call a lack of action from the Mayor so far, they say the crisis doesn’t completely fall on his shoulders.

“This problem should’ve been fixed a long time ago. I’m not gonna say it’s Muhammad’s fault because he wasn’t the mayor back when it should’ve been done," said the Suel Family.

For others like lifelong resident Jaimie Crum, she’s trying to remain positive for her kids, but she says the lack of city leadership has gone on for far too long.

“I’ve been looking very hard and trying to find somewhere else to go. I have been in Michigan, been in Benton Harbor all of my life and at this point I’m tired and I’m ready to go," said Crum.

ABC57 reached out to Mayor Muhammad Thursday, but he was not available to comment on the recall. He did however, speak at a house oversight meeting earlier today where he faced questions about his handling of the lead water crisis.

“I said on April 6, 2019 I’m gracious for the 300,000, but I said then I’m committed to working with the state and federal government because we need more," said Mayor Muhammad.

No action on the petition has been made from the County Election Commission at this time.

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