Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mike Brown the rest of the story!

By Terry Bankert

In Flint MI USA the lions are circling, what they think to be soon a political carcass, politics as usual or is there another agenda?

Ready, Early now Brown so long is the journey so short is the stay.

Why bring a professionally competent person with excellent ties to the very top decision makers in state government? Possible answer, to keep Flint out of another full state receivership. This move is not about the recall its about state receivership.

The lynch pin of the Flint City Charter is the City Administrator position.

In the contest between the pressure of unfetter political leadership and demands for professional decision making and management of our city the City Administrator position operating within a paradigm of “competence”is critical to a well run city.

In all of the strong mayor administrations ,since the 1974 vote brining in our current charter, we have had only three city administrator prepared to fill the professionally demanding and critically important position of Flint City Administrator.

35 years and we get only 3.

Why because we the people have not demanded that our City Council comply with the spirit and intent of our city charter.

The council has encourage the placement of politicians in this professional position. That is except now.

All downtown want to avoid the loss of power of a state receivership, they have found a way. That way is Mike Brown.

Here is a lay test. A Flint City Administrator should be qualified to hold the position of city manager or township manager anywhere in the mid west.

A professional city administrator with solid Lansing ties can cause Flint to avoid receivership!

Mr. Brown meets this simple subjective test.

And he can cause Flint to avoid receivership. Good pick. Once again without our public involvement the council slams another appointment through.

The realities of Flint and the events to follow may show this to have been the only course. We have an excellent City Charter. But a charter has no power if we, voters, do not demand excellence and accountability of our Council and Mayor.

We have been woefully quiet and not demanded excellence. Mike Brown brings excellence to the table. I hope he has enough time to make a difference. and keep Flint out of State Recievership.

Here is a random thought, just a wild guess.

Lets hypothetically assume the powers to be in Lansing , and as troubled as the state economy is, they may soon be required because of Flint budget problems to place the city back into receivership. Who would they pick to be the state receiver? Mike Brown would be an excellent pick.

SO to continue hypothetically if you place Mike Brown in as City Administrator and he works closely with Governor Jennifer Grandholm, and his personal friends Lt. Gov. John Cherry and State budget director Robert Emerson the state does not fully place Flint in a receivership because they now have a local decision maker they trust. Just a wild Guess.

In this analysis Don Williamson is not going anywhere, this is not a last ditch effort to avoid recall.

This is a logical, reasonable, and successful way to avoid state receivership.

Now I am not spinning , positioning or shifting alliances, when I was Ombudsman ,a million years ago, I regularly argued for charter compliance. I regret I was not more effective in mobilizing you to this cause.

From my comfortably seat on the sideline I will chant,” follow the charter”, “avoid state receivership at all cost”.

The roar from the community is to keep us out of state receivership, stabilize the management of the City of Flint, improve our image so we are not longer a laughing stock, tell us what going on, transparency and full public disclosure and debate on policy.

Those of us who have stayed in Flint, kept our business in Flint deserve no less.

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 1/5/09
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- Flint City Charter$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:flint_mi

Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of the Mayor, the remainder of the unexpired term shall be filled as follows:
A. if one year or less remains in the unexpired term, the Council shall within thirty (30) days appoint a person having the qualification for such office to serve as Acting Mayor during the remainder of the unexpired term.
1. The Acting Mayor shall possess all the powers of the Mayor as provided by this Charter, except the power to remove Mayoral appointees. The power to remove appointees of the Mayor may not be exercised without the concurrence of the City Council.
2. The Acting Mayor shall receive the same compensation as provided for the office of Mayor.
B. if more than one year remains in the unexpired term, the City Council shall either:
1. Within ten (10) days call a special primary election to be held within ninety (90) days thereafter to fill such a vacancy. A general election shall be called not less than forty-nine (49) nor more than sixty (60) days after the date of the primary election, or
2. Call primary and general elections to be concurrent with the next State primary and general November election if such vacancy occurs within one year prior to said State general November election.
C. Until such time as the Acting Mayor is appointed pursuant to paragraph A above, or until a Mayor is elected pursuant to paragraph B above, the City Administrator shall serve as Temporary Mayor. The City Administrator shall possess all the powers of the Mayor as provided in this Charter, except the power to remove Mayor appointees and the power of veto. Appointees of the Mayor may not be removed by the City Administrator serving in the capacity of Temporary Mayor without the concurrence of the City Council.
(Adopted by the electorate, 11-5-74)

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