Friday, December 29, 2006


Your Morning News from Flint MI USA
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Emerson to be State Budget Director

"We always knew these Islamists weren't all they were cracked up to be. And now we are where they used to be, in control of Mogadishu - well, as much as anyone can be in control of Mogadishu." - ABDIRIZAK ADAM HASSAN, chief of staff for the transitional president in Somalia.


Emerson to be State Budget Director
Here are portions of two articles from the Attorney General's website about City Council's pay being reduced, not eliminated, prefaced with source announcing Bob Emerson's upcoming appointment as Granholm's new state budget director. He was instrumental in the legal action being filed over council retroactive pay. Is it possible we'll see great changes in the state's budget? Emerson to become state budget director

By Melissa Burden • 810.766.6316 Excerpt: Term-limited state Sen. Bob Emerson, D-Flint, will have a major new job in Lansing come January. Emerson will be appointed Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s next budget director, the governor’s office said today. See complete story in Friday's Flint Journal

* * *,1607,7-164-34739_34811-98650--,00.html
Cox Files Suit Against Flint for Illegal Pay Raise August 9, 2004 LANSING – Attorney General Mike Cox announced today a lawsuit against the City of Flint, the Mayor of Flint and specific members of the Flint City Council to compel the City Council to repay the more than $235,000 they illegally granted themselves by resolution on July 1, 2004. (snip)

In July 2002, a review team and an Emergency Financial Manager were appointed under the authority of Michigan law to manage the City of Flint’s financial crisis, which amounted to more than $20 million in debt. The Emergency Financial Manager took a number of actions to cure and correct the city’s financial condition, including four reductions in pay and benefits to members of the Flint City Council.

On July 1, 2004, the City Council approved by a 7-0 vote a resolution introduced by Donald J. Williamson, Mayor of the City of Flint, to grant themselves more than $235,000 in retroactive back pay and benefits that they collectively lost under the tenure of the Emergency Financial Manager, Ed Kurtz. The question was raised by State Senator Bob Emerson (D-Flint) and posed to the Attorney General regarding the legality of the resolution. Cox contends that their actions are illegal. (snip) * * * *,1607,7-164-34739_34811-118408--,00.html

Cox Wins Flint Illegal Pay Raise Lawsuit May 19, 2005 LANSING - Attorney General Mike Cox announced today that members of the Flint City Council must return to the city treasury more than $235,000 in illegal pay raises they granted themselves in 2004. On Wednesday, an Ingham County Circuit Court judge declared the raises violated the Michigan Constitution. (snip) . . .

As part of his plan to return the city to financial stability, Kurtz reduced the pay for City Council members. However, once the situation stabilized, Kurtz reinstated members’ pay to 95% of pre-emergency levels. Kurtz’s tenure ended on June 30, 2004. Less than 24 hours later, on July 1, the City Council voted 7-0 to grant themselves more than $235,000 in retroactive pay and benefits. Referred to the Attorney General’s Office by Senator Bob Emerson (D-Flint), Cox filed suit on August 9, 2004.

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk agreed with Cox that the City Council’s actions violated Article 11, Section 3 of the Michigan Constitution, which bars retroactive pay raises by elected officials. (snip)
posted to Flint Talk by 00SL2


F.D.A. Tentatively Declares Food From Cloned Animals to Be Safe By ANDREW POLLACK and ANDREW MARTIN The finding could make the U.S. the first country to allow products from cloned livestock to be sold in grocery stores.
Bush Considers Up to 20,000 More Troops for Iraq By DAVID S. CLOUD and JEFF ZELENY The increase would be accomplished in part by delaying the departure of two Marine regiments.

After meeting with his top military and diplomatic advisers at his Texas ranch, Mr. Bush said his administration was making "good progress" in fashioning a revised Iraq strategy. But he said he intended to consult with Congress when it convenes next week before presenting his plan to the nation.
Money Judgment Interest Rate, effective July 1, 2006 is 5.815%,
including the statutory 1%

Issues: Dismissal of the plaintiff’s employment discrimination complaint and entry of an order of settlement; MCR 2.507(H); Mikonczyk v. Detroit Newspapers, Inc.; Whether the settlement agreement placed on the record in open court was only a tentative agreement; Whether the order of settlement contained terms not specifically agreed on by the parties

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: Anderson v. Wayne County Cmty. Coll.

e-Journal Number: 34244
Judge(s): Per Curiam – Wilder, Kelly, and Borrello
Concluding comparison of the written settlement agreement to the settlement terms specified on the record in open court verified agreement on most of the terms, the court held the parties agreed to the material terms of the agreement and affirmed the trial court’s decision to enforce the agreement. Plaintiff sued the defendant alleging racial discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of the CRA.

The trial court engaged the parties in a settlement conference, during which they negotiated and reached a settlement agreement. However, plaintiff later filed objections to the written settlement agreement, asserting it contained items not part of the agreement and matters exceeding what was discussed on the record. The court concluded while plaintiff initially balked at the terms of the proposed agreement, the transcript indicated his ultimate concurrence with most of the terms subsequently reduced to writing by defendant.

The trial court gave plaintiff ample opportunity to refuse the settlement agreement in open court. Most significantly, when the trial court asked him whether he wished the trial court to accept the agreement as presented, plaintiff answered with an unequivocal "yes." The fact the terms of the agreement were reviewed and discussed repeatedly with plaintiff during the proceedings, together with his unequivocal acceptance, led to the conclusion the trial court did not err in approving the settlement agreement and dismissing the complaint.

Affirmed but remanded for the trial court to strike two immaterial provisions in the agreement to which plaintiff did not agree on the record.

SAGINAW (WJRT) - (12/28/06)--A familiar face in Saginaw's city government says her career will come to a close next year.
Current Mayor Pro Tem Wilmer Jones Ham says she will not run for re-election when her term ends next November.
She has spent 14 years on the council and in 2001 was elected by the council as the city's first female mayor.

"She has served this community well, and she has done it with great love and affection for the city and its citizens," said Mayor Carol Cottrel.
This past spring investigators named Ham a person of interest in an investigation of a fire that destroyed her Mercedes while sitting in her driveway.
Midland County Prosecutor Michael Carpenter says there will be no ruling in the case until after the first of the year.

(TV-5) -- Saginaw Mayor Pro-tem Wilmer Jones Ham says she will not seek re-election. The Mayor Pro-tem has several reasons why she won't seek re-election, and things certainly won't be the same without Ham in office.

For 14 years, Wilmer Jones Ham has served on the Saginaw City Council. She was Mayor back in 2004 when she led the victory parade celebrating the Detroit Pistons' World Championship. Her son, Darvin, was on that team.

Ham declined an on-camera interview, saying she's dealing with a personal family issue. She did tell TV-5, "I have had the cooperation of the city. Now it's time to turn it over to younger people. It has been a blessed experience."

Ham has been surrounded by controversy since last year. She was named as a "person of interest" in the burning of her own vehicle, but she was never charged.
Backers laud councilwoman
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Amid bad publicity for Saginaw City Hall and a lengthy criminal probe into the burning of her car, Mayor Pro Tem Wilmer Jones Ham has renewed her pledge not to run for the City Council in 2007.

"I've had 14 years on the council," Ham said during Wednesday's council session. "It's time to get the young people involved."

Ham's comments came after two residents criticized what they said were unfair and untrue media portrayals of Ham, a former mayor. A pastor called some of the reports "character assassination."

Last spring, prosecutors called Ham a "person of interest" in an investigation into a fire that destroyed her Mercedes in her home's driveway. But the probe has stalled after a change of jurisdiction to Midland County.

In addition, depositions filed as part of former City Manager Cecil A. Collins Jr.'s lawsuit against the city raised an allegation that Ham's vote was
for sale
on a motion to fire Collins
in exchange for a
contribution to her
student scholarship fund.

Ham has declined comment on the allegation. A judge on Dec. 21 threw out the lawsuit, in which Collins alleged conspiracy and breach of contract. Collins' lawyer has not said if he will appeal the decision.

On Wednesday, Ham backer Audrey Beatty said the mayor pro tem deserved only support during her "ordeal." Listing Ham's long roster of community involvement, Beatty said Ham is "a positive force toward the development of Saginaw."

Without singling out any media outlets, the Rev. Cirven D. Merrill assailed recent coverage of City Hall and assured Ham that he and the community he said he represents are in her corner.
"The city of Saginaw and especially the black community are appalled and outraged at all of the negative publicity," said Merrill, pastor of Greater Works Ministries, 1014 Sears. "We do not believe most of that stuff."

Merrill stopped short of specifying the allegations to which he was alluding.
"We know (Ham) to be a pillar in the community and a beacon of light," he said.
Ham, who turns 57 on Jan. 9, has said more than once in the past that this term was her last.
After the meeting, Ham said she finalized her decision about a year ago, stressing it was time for younger blood at the council table.

She also said she wants to prepare for her May wedding to Saginaw resident Curtis McZee, a deacon at Ham's church, Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, 810 Cathay in Saginaw, rather than hit the campaign trial.

"I've got to get ready for my hubby," Ham said. v

In what may be one of the most unusual and controversial murder cases in the Flint area this year, a Genesee County district judge ruled Wednesday that a young woman who stabbed the man who was abusing her mother must be bound over to circuit court on an open charge of murder.

But the judge made clear that he didn't like ordering that.

"I feel very badly for her," said Mt. Morris District Judge Larry Stecco, in his ruling on the murder charge against Tanjermeeka M. Jones, 20, of Genesee Township. "I have no alternative but to bind over (the case) as charged."



Dear neighbors,

We have received numerous complaints about trees being cut down along Gilkey Creek. One neighbor told us he called Bob Cook, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Flint, and that Mr. Cook said the College Cultural Neighborhood Association supports the cutting. Let us assure you, no elected CCNA officer has lent support to this. Mike called Mr. Cook to ask about the project, and Mr. Cook said he had not heard any negative feedback about the cutting. So we are asking you to call his office and ask him and his crew to stop.

I was thinking those banks are eroded enough without cutting out the small trees that hold soil in place, but to be sure, I call Brent Nickola at UM-Flint's Center for Applied Environmental Research. Brent worked on the Gilkey Creek Watershed Management Plan for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He said the UM-F is in the process of recommending to MDEQ that vegetation along the banks of the Gilkey be RESTORED – not removed. Removing live stream bank vegetation affects water quality negatively.

Mike and I both looked at the cutting near Pierce School and we saw many small undiseased trees cut at the base. I'm thinking some well-meaning person may have thought it would be nice to visually open up the sign and entrance of the golf course and community center. The problem with this is that when it rains, there is a surge in water flow. Frequently the water rises to the top of the banks.

Fast-moving water gushes through the banks, and with no live roots to hold the banks in place, the banks will erode and become more unstable. As they erode the water becomes more silty. This harms water quality, negatively impacting fish and wildlife downstream.

Proponents of cutting may point to last year's clearing of brush on the riverbanks at UMF campus to visually open up the view of the river. Keep in mind, the hydrologic forces are very different there because of the dams.

Surges in flow are regulated, whereas the Gilkey is not. Additionally, we have received numerous calls from people who are quite worried about the wild woody area south of the creek, and do not want it compromised. (Not every area has to look like a groomed park.)

We appreciate many of the things Mr. Cook’s department has done for our community, such as removing dead trees that have fallen into the creek. We should let him know this, but also make it clear when we do not want our neighborhood’s health and beauty compromised.

Please call him today at 691-9345, and ask him to STOP THE CUTTING. The creek is not a park, and we should not attempt to create park-like conditions along the creek. Removing obviously dead trees from the creek is acceptable. Then please drop a line to me to let me know how it went. Thanks for taking care of your part of the earth.

Sherry Hayden"


Under-the-Rug Oversight The American public deserves a fuller and more open review of the National Security Agency's illegal eavesdropping program than it has been getting from its toothless watchdog.

Thus wags the tail of a watchdog with neither bark nor bite.

For more Flint MI USA news see:
From Ted Jankowski
In response to a GOOD MORNING FLINT demand that the Flint City Council give back the money the Attorney General said they took illegally Ted said:

Now Terry,
WHy do you repeat something that you and I both know isn't true! The Council members didn't award themselves anything. You and I both know what Kurtz actually did! Whose budget he actually used! Who it was that brought the back pay to the council! If 80,000 could open a senior center I'm sure 140,000 paid to a journal carrier could have open a senior center and a community center! Sure I love looking at things that way!

How long did the council go without pay? Take he amount they received and divide it by the number of months they didn't receive thier slary. Doesn't seem to big anymore does it? Yet they continued on! They voted to receive thier RIGHTFUL pay!

How much effort would you put in even if someone told you, "You have to work 6 months to a year without pay?" They didn't run the city out of Money! When they figured out that there was something wrong, they BEGGED the state to step in. We both know what power they actually and how they get their information about the budget. The same way this new council does. Through the Mayor's office! Oh and I do firmly believe a workman is worthy of his hire. If it hadn't been for that former council going to the State.

We would probably just now be going into a State takeover. (but this last statement is only conjecture).
Flint Talk
The Laundry Room

Flint Area Citizen Internet Advocacy US
, 12/28/06 23:14 ET
President George W. Bush, vilified by many, supported by some, is a hero to me.
Why do I say that? It's not because I agree with the President's domestic agenda. It's not because I think he's done a perfect job in the White House.
George Bush is a hero to me because he has courage. The President does what he believes to be in the best interest of the United States. He sticks with his beliefs, no matter how intense the criticism and invective that are directed against him every day.

The enormous defeat President Bush suffered with the loss of both Houses of Congress has not caused him to retreat from his position that the U.S. alone now stands between a radical Islamic takeover of many of the world’s governments in the next 30 or more years. If that takeover occurs, we will suffer an enslavement that will threaten our personal freedoms and take much of the world back into the Dark Ages.

Our major ally in this war against the forces of darkness, Great Britain, is still being led by an outstanding prime minister, Tony Blair. However, Blair will soon be set out to pasture, which means Great Britain will leave our side and join France, Germany, Spain and other countries that foolishly believe they can tame the wolf at the door and convert it into a domestic pet that will live in peace with them.

These dreamers naively believe that if we feed the wolves what they demand, they will go away. But that won’t happen. Appeasement never works. The wolves always come back for more and more, and when we have nothing left to give, they come for us. Thank you ED.
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