Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gossip: Flint wants City manager?

BY Terry Bankert 1/21/08


A small group of community advocates, The Flint Journal and the League of Women Voters have started their own “New push... to cut Flint mayor's power, change city government” quotes from[ The Flint Journal Friday November 21, 2008, 10:18 PM]

The Flint Journal calls them “ Local leaders”.

Who elected them?

It continues to say by its absence that they are not building a coalition nor are they seeking expert advice they are “ mulling plans”.

We get a weekend lead story from this pablim. Oh sign me up to listen to this recycled nonsense. In a town full of Phd’s , several great Universities we get a news lead that the Flint Journals self described leaders are "Mulling. "

Give me a break.

This is another Flint Journal Led manipulation of its print media monopoly status to feed us their politcal agenda. Now is not the time to shoot from the hip causing a change in governmental structure “ that could fundamentally change the way the city operates -- including stripping the mayor of his far-reaching powers.”

Local Government 101

Politics is resource allocation by way of electing people who make public policy choices that affect community resources and public service delivery.

Good Government is not the form of government it’s the quality of the people in it or the strength of the coalitions that advocate policy to it or cause the election of the people who make these decisions.

We have a good City Charter that has never been properly executued and was severly harmed when the city council terms went from 2 yrs to four years making the council less accountable.

You want to improve Flint get involved.

Please sign me up to debate that we should keep the Current Charter, change the council terms back to 2 years, and help build a community coalition to create pressure to cause compliance with the great charter that we have. But don’t complain to me that the form of our government should be changed just because you and your friends don’t have more influence. Get active and make a difference.

Other pearls of wisdom suggested by the Flint Journal kitchen cabinet.

1.”A city manager in charge.” Think Rapp and Patt...[still can’t spell his name]

2.”eliminates the strong-mayor form now in use.” Creates a strong council, do you want to make the current council...stronger?

3.”council members elected by voters from throughout the city” Really?..that means one power group can elect the entire council?

4. Listen to this sentence.”The change in city government is part of an overall movement to give the city's charter an overhaul. “ The Flint Journal is blowing smoke. There is no movement!

5.”Williamsons response: "Whatever the people decide, I would abide to it." He knows it will not happen and if it does he can still control it.

6.”City Council members and the local League of Women Voters already are studying the possibility.” Just what are they studying, when is the next meeting, who are the council members and why is the League taking a position on such a political issue?

7.”... the league will have a few more meetings, and in several weeks they will ask for community input by hosting public forums.” Well here’s your commuinity input it’s a dumb idea.

8.[A spokesperson]” said the league is not ready to take a stance on any of the issues regarding the charter.” You just did!

9.”The council could place issues on the ballot to amend the charter.” If they do lets put up the question council terms should return to 2 yrs.

10.”If a wholesale revision of the charter is proposed, the city would elect charter commission members who would write an entirely new charter and put it up for a vote of the people.” Who elects the Charter Commision, the voters influenced by the same coalitions that have brought us our current elected officals. Nothing will change.

11.”Realistically, the earliest a vote could take place is May.” Thats a low turn out election why not the August primary or November general. In a hurry, want a low turnout election?

12.”Councilman Ehren Gonzales said he believes the city should go to a city manager form of government. The city manager would be chosen by the council.” Let me see here ...what is really at play..if you want to run the city in the future..but can’t get elected to it ...but can elect a council favorable to you.... then change the form of government.... and you get to pick the city manager who will be an ally of yours. Naw ...thats far too Machivallian..

13."It would reduce the amount of infighting we would have between the mayor and the City Council," Gonzales said. "It would be a more professional form of government." The literature is clear managers get thrown out every 4-7 years and the council continues to be power blocks at each others throat. Look to Clio.

14"The city switched from a city manager format to a strong mayor in the 1970s in part due to the council constantly firing and hiring city managers. Gonzales said safeguards could be built into the system to prevent that from happening again.” There are no safe one..Pick a city manager for life? Takes a popular vote to take out that manager..The manager stays as long as Gonzales wants him?

15"John West Jr., who served on the 1974 charter commission, said the strong mayor system works fine. If there's problems, the voters take care of it through elections.” A voice of reason.

16."People are confused about what's wrong with city government. It's not that the form of government is wrong. It's the choices that are made in who runs the city," West said.” Bingo!

17.”West said he could see some minor tweaks in the charter that would smooth out some balance-of-power issues, including giving the council more authority to make some hires and appoint its own attorney.” I agree. The council must be returned to 2 yr terms. Other areas of charter intent that are not being executed should be corrected.

18.”Councilman Scott Kincaid also is proposing that the city attorney and the finance director -- both of which now are appointed by the mayor -- should be hired through the city's civil service system. “ Now here’s the voice of the champion of professionalism.

19 “Councilman Sheldon Neeley advocated in favor of eliminating wards, but he said a lot of issues need to be talked about.” Mr. Neely usually has good things to say.. I am listening. 20."We need to start a dialogue to unite this city," Neeley said.” I agree

Posted here by

Terry Bankert


Sphere: Related Content