“Every community is different, with different needs and different approaches. But communities that are making the most progress on these issues have some things in common. They don't look for a single silver bullet; instead they bring together local government and nonprofits and businesses and teachers and parents around a shared goal.” – President Barack Obama
While every community is different, many issues are the same. However, when the issue becomes emotional or even political, finding a solution becomes difficult but not impossible.
While it is easy to blame or point fingers for how a problem started, it is more important to rise above the politics of a situation in order to focus on solutions, and a neutral third party can help.
While the City of Flint, Michigan deals with their current crises involving high levels of lead in the water, due to switching water sources, the people of Flint need to build a coalition to find a fix and bring valuable resources to clean the water system up and support the children who are found with high levels of lead.
Local, state and federal government agencies, together with foundations and other nonprofits, universities and the business community need to come together to find solutions to the problems facing the people of Flint.
To help facilitate that process, they need to bring in a neutral third party who is sensitive to the politics of the problem, familiar enough with the people involved, but not connected to anyone so that they can help facilitate ways to bring a resolution forward.
This person would not be an emergency manager. This person or team of people would include trained non-partisan facilitators who can provide a forum for resolving the toughest public policy disputes and create a process by which to bring the stakeholders together. These individuals can help address the politics and emotions of a problem and help the various parties engage in civil and productive discourse leading to resolving a complex and political issue so that everyone can move forward.