Friday, January 22, 2010


By Terry Bankert

I attended the College and Cultural Neighborhood Association (CCNA)meeting last night 01/21/2010.

It began at 7 PM in the Mott Community College Regional Technology Center Auditorium RTC 1005.

My 2010 new years pledge is to lose enough weight to be able to fit into the auditorium seats.

The CCNA is a non-profit with a mission of preserving and improving the College and Cultural Center Neighborhood.

This is done by raising awareness of political, governmental, social and environmental issues concerning our neighborhood and Flint Neighborhood groups. Our claimed turf is I-69 to Gilkey Creek, Longway to Dort Hwy.

That’s roughly the boundaries of the group I ran a billion years ago the East Village Legislature.

This began in conjunction with Flints best community magazine the East Village Magazine. All the Brain child of Gary Custer. But that’s another story.

I have taught community/neighbor hood organization. With Gary Bates about 10 years ago.( I would like to again!).

It is difficult to keep the communities attention to deliver a grass roots involvement product.

The President Sherry Hayden and the Vice - president Mike Keeler do a great job. My observation that a good grass root operation is really a dictatorship masquerading as a democracy. They do it well deliver a good product. It feels good to be there for 2 hrs a couple of times a year.

Last night Paul Streby read detailed minuets of the previous meeting. You get used to it and the listener gets a sense of continuity. Cindy Robinson gave the treasurers report.

State Representative Lee Gonzales talked about the alternative Battery success recently. Good Job Lee. He will make a great County Treasurer.

Flint City Councilperson Josh freeman was present. He bashed the Ombudsman position and once again called for its elimination by way of a ballot question. YAWN!

Douglas Wieland the Executive Director of the Genesee Land Bank spoke.
-The 25,000,000 has to be spent I 3 years.
-The City of Flint is doing 2 demolitions a day
-Flint NIPP rehabs are setting vacant.
-nsp funds used to rehab have to be sold to qualified buyers who get a mortgage. Good luck there.
-The land bank owns 3200 and clears 9,000 lots.
-The land bank now has year round crews to clear property.
-25% of the vacant property in Flint belongs to the land bank.
-The land bank will begin to train neighborhood organizations.
-The city of flint had a population of 196,000 in 1960 and last year had 106,000.
-6,000 houses are in need of demolition at a cost of 7,000 each do the math.
-there are 10,000 vacant houses in Flint.
18,000 of 57,000 parcels in Flint are vacant that 33%
-The land bank owns less that 50% of the vacant property.

Flint 7th Ward Council Person Dale Weighill spoke.
- We are half way through the budget year and there will be a 5 - 7 million dollars budget deficit if the Council does not take action.
-the Mayor has not presented a plan and it should have been presented several months ago.
-there will be a mid year budget review a week from Sat.
-He said his mind is open to the elimination of the ombudsman’s office.
I suggested directly to my Flint City Council person Weighill that if they put the ombudsman on the ballot they should put up a question to the community asking if the council terms should be returned to 2 years. The original 1974 charter called for 2 years terms of the Flint City Council. The council changed it to 4 years terms. I think 2 year terms are a good idea it keeps the council accountable.

I predict things will begin to go badly between the council and the mayor after this meeting , budget review, if the mayor does not have a firm budget reduction plan. 7 Million dollars is a lot of money. The only way to do it is to scrape away a lot of misc. items then cut once again into police and fire. Here we go again.

I announced my plans to facilitate a workshop on Social Media and its application to business, community action and politics. My plan is for this to be free.

All were invited to the informal planning meeting this Saturday 10-noon 01/23/2010 at my law office 1000 Beach St., Flint MI.

Please arrive at 9:45. Meeting ends at noon though there may be some carry over discussion. I will provide water and pizza at 11:30. Bring pop or coffee if you desire.

The Mott Community College Police are sworn police officers and Sheriffs deputies they patrol for one mile around the college. Their number is 762-0222
DATES from the CCNA hand out TO KEEP IN MIND.

Next CCNA meeting

March 18 2010 7-9 pm Mott RTC Room 1005

MAYOR WALLING Flint neighborhood Action Session Phase II schedule that interest me. There are other meetings. I hope this process and the effort Citizens have given is the real deal, it looks like it may be. But if in the end we think this was a lot of naive BS it will bite the mayor.

1-27-2010 Phase II Introduction at the Flint Public Library. 5:30 pm

02-10-2010 Downtown residents and business 5:30 Flint Public Library.

02-11-2010 Phase II NBH Action Session Ward 7 NOON? Brennan Community Center 1301 Pingee Flint 766-7238.

03-15-2010 Noon MCC RTC Rm 1301 762-5906

04-12-2010 City Wide work group 5:30 pm Brennan Com Center

4-24-2010 Phase II Conclusion meeting 9:30 Am Ballenger Field House MCC
Since the budget had already been submitted to council I wonder how our ideas can be implemented 2010 -2011?
CNNA is on face book and has a list serve

Posted here by Terry Bankert

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