Monday, November 2, 2009

Informed Articulate Citizens needed, not a new Charter

There is discussion that the Flint City Charter should be changed piecemeal.

I think that is a mistake.

We have an excellent City Charter that has been bastardized:

1. City Council terms moved from 2 to 4 years,

2. City Administrator not a seasoned Municipal Administrator,

3. Litte to no attendion paid to the ordinanaces in the public interest, the standard of conduct board does not meet,

4. The City and its deparments are not required to make its promulgated rules and procedures current and the office of Ombudsman is underfunded and quiet.

5. We have no master planning process

6. City Council should have as the Charter allows an in house Auditor. Possibly they do not because then they would be accountable.

We the People voted in a Strong Mayor, and I add Strong Council , with a myrid of Checks and Balances ,promulgated rules and procedures, ordinances in the public interest, a standard of conduct board and the office of Ombudsman.

Essentially we wanted to limit the power of Mayor and Council through the adoption of the 1974 Charter.

But here is the rub, you, me, the Citizens of this City dropped the ball.

We did not demand that the Charter be followed.

I say, lets pick that ball back up and score some points...for good government.

Here how!

Ask then demand that the current charter be followed .

While we are advocating to the Mayor and City Council to follow the Charter we as Citizens begin to monitor the Charter and from an informed perspective critique it, discuss modification, leaving it alone or advocate its whosale change through Charter revision.

Detroit is electing a Charter revision Commission Tuesday, its utter chaos in Detroit.

The responsibility falls to you and me.

A charter is just a couple of pieces of paper unless the good people of Flint decide to breath life into it.

Terry Bankert 11/2/09

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