Thursday, February 19, 2009

Michigan Governor in Flint

BY Terry Bankert

Governor Grandholm pledges to spend every dollar Washington sends in the stimulus package. Then she will spend the money the other states cannot spend. Local units are directed to get their plans to her office by March 1st. Genesee pledges to be ready.

The Flint meeting took place at the MTA in Flint 3 pm 2/19/09. Ever wonder who these movers and shakers are that go to these meetings. A couple of pictures follow.

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“The state is receiving $7 billion of the $787 billion plan. With a lot of money on the table, questions are being raised as to where the cash would be spent”“The governor is taking a two-day tour across the state to discuss just that.”

In Flint we are discussing the role of professionalism of public sector management. Governor Jennifer Grandholm sets a high standard. There is hope.

Posted here by Terry Bankert Consider continuing this discussion on my Face Book

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Changing of the Guard in Flint

GOOD MORNING FLINT! By Terry Bankert 2/19/09 Last night was the real deal. The post victory bombastic strutting of the most recent victors of Flint Political Cage Fighting. The Alex Harris team “Truth” was out in full force. Alex Harris Citizen Patriot could be seen bobbing an weaving around the room. The citizens , police and firemen that sweated blood to get the 14,000 signatures to get the recall of Ex mayor Donald Williamson were there in full force. Seen in the room, gasping their last political breaths, were the protege of Donald Williamson Tracheal Young and Darryl Buchanan. Both numbed to the fact they were soon to be political corpses. The hammer fell about 5:48 pm 2/18/09. The survival shows have nothing on the great theater of politics in Flint. But this was just the warm up, for the kids. The adults were focused on City Administrator acting as Temporary Mayor Michael Brown, herein after referred to as MAYOR OF FLINT!. He brought to the council a tried and tested group of trained an seasoned professionals to get Flints House in order. Bravo, Bravo good job MayorBrown. The kids will get real bored and restless during your term Mayor Brown. But the adults are with you. A few pictures. Thumbnail Slide show Media Morph Wednesday night, Flint's interim mayor shook up City Hall by appointing and cutting several city leaders. [1] As quickly as temporary Mayor Michael Brown axed former administration officials this week, on Wednesday he ushered in the "team" that will shape the new administration.[2] Brown introduced eight new administration officials to the City Council and the public on Wednesday evening.[1] The City Council gave the green light to the changes at a special meeting. 1 Interim Mayor Mike Brown says he has a lot of work to and he has about six months to do it, and he wants to do it with the help of his own team.[1] It's probably one of biggest shake-ups the city of Flint has seen in years.[1] I've been in government in place for a long time, and one thing I know is that you need a team in place that's your team," Brown said.[1] At a packed standing-room-only council meeting attended by the who's who in the Flint community, Brown introduced a brand-new temporary administration team.[1] The group is made up of a handful of people and he's appointed a new finance director.[1] But capturing most of the attention was Alvern Locke, a retired police officer who will now lead the city's police force.[1] "Just bringing the officers back together," he said. "There's a lot of good officers who want to work, who can work, and (I want to bring) them together."[1] During the same meeting, he booted out several officials that were key players under former Mayor Don Williamson, who resigned effective Sunday.[2] Council voted to remove Bob Cook as the Parks and Recreation director and Peggy Cook as the governmental operations director.[1] The council approved all of Brown's appointments, including: • Duane Miller, governmental operations director. The retired General Motors executive from Flint said he hopes to do what he can. Although he won't have the city administrator title, Miller will handle much of the day-to-day operations of the city. [2] "I grew up here and I want to do all I can to give back and help out," said Miller, who was dismayed at the recent in-fighting at City Hall. "There was no way we could move this community forward with all of the bickering that was taking place."[2] Miller will earn an $80,000 per year salary.[2] • Leonard Smorch, finance director. Smorch was the former controller for Genesee County before retiring a few years ago. [2] Smorch, who will earn an $80,000 per year salary, said he doesn't know any of the budget details yet, but he's going to help "turn around" the budget situation. The city finished the 2007-08 fiscal year with an $8.3 million deficit, and is likely staring at another multi-million dollar deficit this year.[2] "Flint was a beautiful town," said Smorch, of Fenton, but who grew up in Flint. "We need to bring it back."[2] • Former city administrator and deputy mayor Darryl Buchanan was stripped of his current titles and given a new title of targeted special projects director. Brown said Buchanan will work on coordinating grants and audits of the city's finances and law department.[2] Buchanan, who is running for mayor, wouldn't discuss whether he was happy with his new job versus his old role.[2] "I want to help this community in any capacity that I can, whatever job that it is," said Buchanan, whose salary was cut from $95,000 to $65,000.[2] • Other new officials include Police Chief Alvern Lock; Angela Watkins as a temporary replacement for City Attorney Trachelle Young; aides Margaret Fredericks and Maxine Murray; and part-time employees Bob Campbell as communications director and Tracy Atkinson as constituent services director. [2] "We've got competent people in place," Brown said. "We've got a tremendous amount of work to do in the next six months."[2] He said the city saved about $500,000 by not filling a number of positions that were eliminated.[2] Brown got rid of three Williamson officials through a vote by City Council, including City Attorney Trachelle Young, Parks director Bob Cook and Peggy Cook, government operations director. Others who were shown the door but did not need to go before the council for a vote included utilities director Lyle Hippensteel, Super Chief Richard Dicks, economic development leader Suzanne Kayser, mayoral aide Sally Haywood and parks and recreation official Tina Conley.[2] Darryl Buchanan, who is running for mayor, has been moved to the position of special projects coordinator at a salary of $65,000 for six months.[1] Also out is City Attorney Trachelle Young, who says the move is purely political.[1] "I don't think this is going to be an ending. This may be just the beginning," she said.[1] Working with a smaller staff, Brown expects the changes will save the city about $500,000.[1] Keeping an eye on city money is top priority since it's looking at an $8-million deficit.[1] We also talked with Flint City Councilman Delrico Lloyd about the shake up. Here's what he has to say. "Change has to come to the city and fast and in of order for that, there are tough changes that need to be made a lot of changes will not be favorable for the community but drastic changes have to be made."[3] "We've got some very serious financial issues," Brown said. "We've got morale issues. We've got a respectful tone type of issue. We're trying to work on all that together."[1] The new administration team will start on the job Thursday morning.[1] Brown says he plans on being on the job for six months, and has no intentions of throwing his hat in the ring for mayor.[1] Brown said in many cases, Williamson didn't follow the proper procedures when making the appointments. Anyone who was hired under those circumstances was let go, Brown said. "This wasn't personal with these people," Brown said. "We're sending a message to all of City Hall that we're going to do things the right way, and do them by the book."[2] DO YOU WANT TO BE FLINT MAYOR? HERE IS HOW. Choosing a new mayor Nominating petitions to run for mayor will be available at the City Clerk's office on Thursday for the upcoming May 5 primary election. Candidates must have 900 registered voters sign the petition. The filing deadline will be 4 p.m. on March 10, when petitions must be turned into the clerk's office on S. Saginaw Street. The top two vote-getters on May 5 will compete in the November general election. The new mayor will serve through 2011.[2] Posted here by Terry Bankert 2/19/09 Join me in continuing this discussion on my face book. -1 -2 -3

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