Welcome to the official Blog for the City of Flint, Michigan

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and his administration wish you the happiest of holidays and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Flint Celebrates Mark Ingram, Jr's. Heisman Trophy Win

Saturday night Flint native Mark Ingram, Jr. claimed college football's most coveted prize: The Heisman Trophy.

The ceremony was held in New York, but back here in Flint Mayor Dayne Walling hosted a viewing party at Luigis Restaurant and Pizzeria on Davison Road. It was a packed house, filled with Ingram supporters, to watch the announcement.

Congratulations Mark Ingram, Jr. You are the Pride of Flint, Michigan.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mark Ingram Day In Flint

Mayor Dayne Walling proclaims Saturday, December 12th as Mark Ingram Jr. Day in the City Of Flint.
In recognition of Ingram's accomplishments, Mayor Walling is inviting the community to join him Saturday night at Luigi's Restaurant and Pizzeria on Davison Rd. at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $5.00 per person for the pizza and salad bar and you have to purchase your own beverage. The focus of the night will be the Heisman Trophy Ceremony, where Ingram is one of five finalists. We will gather at Luigi's to watch the ceremony, which will be carried live from New York on ESPN. The ceremony begins at 8:00 p.m. The Heisman Trophy is college's most prestigious athletic award. We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to watch this young Flint native be considered for such an honor.

Mark is a 2008 Graduate of Flint Southwestern Academy, and currently plays for Alabama. He has been a role model on and off the field. Mark has made the Deans list at Alabama, and was also an accomplished high school student.

We are a community of producers here in Flint. We have a rich history of athletic excellence in this community. Mark Ingram Jr. is the latest in a long line of accomplished athletes this community has produced.

The Mayor will present Mark Ingram, Jr. and his family with the proclamation upon Ingram's anticipated return to Flint during the holiday season.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mayor Walling To Host Jobs Growth and Economic Development Forum

As we continue to work toward transforming Flint into a 21st century sustainable city, we must begin to plan for future job growth and economic development. On Thursday, December 3, President Barack Obama hosted a forum on jobs and economic growth at the White House. The President invited small business owners, CEO’s, labor leaders, economist and everyday Americans to be a part of this discussion.

The President now wants to expand the conversation beyond the nation’s capitol. He has asked mayors from across the country to host a similar forum in their respective cities. The purpose of these forums is to explore every possible avenue for job creation.

Mayor Walling will host a Jobs Growth and Economic Development forum on Thursday, December 10, 2009 from 6:00 p.m until 8:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor city hall council chambers at 1101 South Saginaw Street.

One Monday, Two Neighborhood Action Sessions

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is hosting two neighborhood action sessions (today) Monday, December 7, 2009.

The first session was held at Noon today at the Riverfront Residence Hall in downtown Flint. We had about 30 students and college staff who came out to be a part of helping move our great city of Flint forward in a positive direction.

This group identified a number of assets in the community and lots of opportunity as well. The Flint river was identified as both an asset and an opportunity.

This group really had some great ideas about making downtown Flint more appealing to college students. They talked about having more bike and walking trails; a bowling alley; and a movie theatre. Most in the group said they were proud of the city's educational opportunities and the city's student population. It was a small but effective group who showed up and we are grateful for their input.

+++++++++++++++++++++++Neighborhood Action in the 3rd Ward
Tonight at 5:30 Mayor Walling and members of his administration will be in the 3rd ward at Berston Field House for the 8th Neighborhood Action Session. Just one more to go for the first phase. More than 500 residents have come out to share in our discussions about guiding city resources and moving this community forward. The last neighborhood action session for the the year will be in Ward 6 on December 16, 209 at 5:30 at McLaren Regional Medical Center.

New Business In Downtown Flint

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling cuts the ribbon on Garibella's Salon

New businesses are being added to the downtown Flint landscape it seems everyday. This of course is good news for all us. The Mayor often says "Downtown is every body's neighborhood."

Garibella's Salon is located on the South Side of the Wade trim building on Second and Saginaw. It is a full service salon owned by Tammy and Carl Harchick. The couple combined the names of their two children Garrett and Gabrielle to come up with the salon's unique name: Garibella's.

The salon currently employs 5 people and they are looking to hire 7 more stylists.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Magical Night In Downtown Flint

The Holiday Magic was Unleashed tonight in Downtown Flint. I venture to say nearly 3,000 came out for the first ever Flint Holiday Festival. It was a sight to behold. The event sponsored by the City of Flint and the Downtown Development Authority, exceeded expectations.

400 to 500 people gathered at Flint City Hall for the festivities that began at 5:30p.m. There was a pre-glow sponsored by Tim Hortons inside of city hall with coffee, hot cocoa, and donuts. Just before 6:00 p.m. the program began. Katie O'Mara and Sam Merrill from WNEM TV-5 were the emcees. There was wonderful singing by the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church Mass Choir and Pastor Seon Thompson and the Sanctuary Choir from Refuge Temple. Vida Fisher, from the Blue Light Tree Project spoke on the importance of remembering our fallen law enforcement officers during the holiday season. She and her husband donated the blue lights for a tree at city hall. Pastor Robert Wright, from Court Street United Methodist church gave a wonderful prayer and Pastor Jerry Givens from Prayer Garden COGIC did a reading. Just before 6:20 the Mayor was joined by Santa Clause for the official holiday lights.

Following the lighting ceremony the parade began to Kearsley and Saginaw Streets. There was more excitement there with choirs, bands, people, ice carvings and of course Santa.

A special thanks goes out to all of the wonderful sponsors who saw the potential for an event like this and jumped on board early to be a part of the magic. Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Plus of Michigan, The Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gazall, Lewis Architects INC, Tim Hortons, Flint Area Visitor and Convention Bureau and so many others.

We also had great participation from the Flint Community Schools and so many community organizations.

I can't wait for Flint Holiday Festival 2010.

Down To The Last Chair

Nearly 100 pack the Brennen Center for Neighborhood Action

Residents of the 7th Ward came out in big numbers for Neighborhood Action Monday night. The residents identified many assets and opportunities in their ward and engaged in lively discussion about how to move their ward and this city forward.

The next Neighborhood Action Session is Thursday, December 3, 2009 in the 9th ward at Insight. It begins at 5:30. We hope to see you there.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Real and Raw: Flint Youth Talk About Violence With Mayor Dayne Walling

Friday afternoon Mayor Dayne Walling sat down with about 25 or 30 youth at Joy Tabernacle Church on Flint's north side. In the group was a grieving son and a grieving daughter-both of whom had lost their mothers to gun violence in a triple homicide that also took the life of another person. These two sat quiet for the most part, not having much to say. But, the rest of the group was very vocal about violence, and why so many youth are committing crimes.

During the conversation it was learned that a lot of the violence has to do with what what "hood" you are from and retaliation. They say more opportunities: recreational and employment is one way to help stem the violence and save their lives. These youth are also crying out for adults that care, and encourage them. Most of of them believe society has written them off and no one cares about their outcomes good or bad.

I left the discussion wanting to do more to help restore and repair, and heal the brokenness that so many of the young people in the community are experiencing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Join Us For Neighborhood Action

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and key members of his staff will host their fifth Neighborhood Action Sessions (NAS) Ward Meeting tonight in the 8th Ward.
More than 200 residents have come out so far for NAS meetings in wards 1, 2, 4, and 5. We hope to see a large number of 8th ward residents tonight at the Zimmerman Center, 2421 Corunna Road at 5:30 p.m.

NAS ward meetings are designed to allow residents the opportunity to help guide the deployment of limited city resources in ways that best meet their needs and desires. In addition, residents will, by ward, help identify ways to build upon our community assets while developing and implementing solutions to address our challenges. Our goal is to work together, city hall and citizens, to create a prosperous and vibrant community. It’s all a part of the Mayor’s vision to create a 21st century sustainable city that includes new jobs, safe neighborhoods, and great schools.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mayor Walling Marks His 100th Day In Office

Working Together Toward A 21st Century Sustainable City

The first 100 days of Mayor Dayne Walling
August 6, 2009-November 13, 2009

As I mark my 100th day in office as Mayor of the City of Flint, I reflect back on election night when I promised residents a new direction of positive change for Flint. My success or failure for delivering on this promise cannot be fully measured in 100 days, but 100 days provides a good indication of where we are headed.

We have begun the process of rebuilding our great City of Flint through the cooperation and teamwork of my administration, City council, City employees and our many community partners. There are still many challenges: unemployment is above 25%, public safety threats persist, and blight infests too many of our neighborhoods. Through these toughest of times, however, the City of Flint is moving forward. In this first 100 days of my administration it is clear that transformative change has started. We can present a few highlights of accomplishments:

• Our police have made more than 940 arrests, and we have secured funds for an added 14 officers and opened a police mini-station at Haskell Community Center;
• We have responded to more than 1,000 constituent requests through the Mayor’s Office, Human Relations and other City departments;
• We have demolished more than 100 abandoned houses and an uninhabitable 45-unit apartment structure;
• We received a total of $230 million in local investments from General Motors for Chevy Volt production, retaining hundreds of Flint’s jobs;
• We have saved the City’s taxpayers more than $4 million dollars through financial cost savings and recovery.

In addition to these accomplishments, our City employees continue to deliver high quality, core services to all city residents in the areas of: fire protection and prevention, public safety, weekly garbage pick-up, customer service, community/senior center operation and maintenance, and the delivery of clean and safe drinking water.

We have made significant progress in the first 100 days of my administration, but there are many tough challenges ahead. We are facing a more than $2 million cut in revenue sharing from the state this fiscal year. In effort to balance our budget we have to find cost savings on every front. As my team works through these very difficult decisions our goal remains to balance our budget while preserving jobs and continuing to provide quality services to our residents.

I have assembled a diverse leadership team that is dedicated to the betterment of the community and its residents. This team, including the expert City Administrator Gregory Eason, along with our City workers and City Council, is the new engine driving transformative change in the City of Flint. Together we are working toward a 21st Century Sustainable City with new jobs, safe neighborhoods and great schools.

It is a pleasure to serve such a diverse community of seniors, families, college students, and young professionals. Most are life long residents and have seen this community through its prosperity, its pain, and now it’s potential of a rebirth. With all of us working together we can have the community that we all desire and deserve.

Attached is a full report of my administration’s first 100 days accomplishments. Trust that we will all continue to work every day for you in all of our future days.
This is our Flint: Forever Strong and Proud.

Dayne Walling, Mayor
City of Flint

100 Days: Full Report
Under Mayor Walling’s leadership, every City of Flint department has worked during the past 100 days to provide high quality services to every part of the city while finding cost savings and doing business in new ways. The following are highlights of the accomplishments by the administration’s professional and diverse leadership team, under the supervision of City Administrator Gregory Eason, which has worked with City employees, the union leadership, and members of the Flint City Council. Working together, great progress has been made towards making Flint a 21st Century sustainable city.

Public Safety
• Arrested 941 persons, including 145 juveniles, for crimes committed in the city ranging from homicide to theft
• Secured funding for 14 police officers (8 through U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services COPS grant, 6 through the Community Renewal Task Force grant in partnership with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton)
• Opened a new police neighborhood station in the 2nd Ward at Haskell Community Center (6 neighborhood stations are now open and operating)
• Organized effort with 150 volunteer crime fighters to reduce Devil’s Night fires and to make arrests resulting in one of the safest Halloween periods in Flint’s recent history

Neighborhood Services
• Over 100 demolitions were performed on residential properties
• Demolition of first commercial property, a 45 unit uninhabitable apartment complex on Pierson Road
• Issued 1425 tickets for weed and /or trash abatement
• Performed 222 rental property inspections
• Removed 97 dead trees throughout the city
• Cleaned up north end mini-station Ward 1 at the corner of MLK Ave. and Bishop

• Completed 56 neighborhood clean-ups
• Resurfaced 6.5 miles of road
• Repaired 426 squares of sidewalks
• Repaired 43 main breaks
• Cleaned approximately 100,000 feet of sewers
• Repaired 88 sewers

Green Initiatives
• Started a pilot scale (55-gallon) sludge digester in conjunction with Kettering University and Swedish Biogas International and produced biogas of 53% methane
• Created central compost conversion at Chevy In the Hole and will save $500,000 a year
• Re-introduced recycling at City Hall
• Engaged local, state and national organizations in new green projects
• Received $1,017,500 in grants to fund the Kettering trail extension which connects Kettering University and UM-Flint
• Utilized $1,147,900 from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and implement a community energy strategy

Open Doors For Business & Development
• 50 new jobs added in downtown Flint with the opening of 501 Bar and Grill
• 84 jobs retained with the new FedEx Intermodal operation at Bishop Airport
• 20+ jobs retained with the opening the new Social Security Office on Carpenter Road
• $230 million in investments from General Motors for the Chevrolet Volt production
• Assisted in the groundbreaking of Witherbees Market in downtown Flint, project expected to create more than a half dozen jobs
• Completed the Brownfield Redevelopment Plan for the construction of the Internal Revenue Services building in Smith Village in spring 2010
• Approximately 75 small business owners attended an Open For Business forum co-hosted with the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and other partners to learn more about the resources and assistance available to local businesses and entrepreneurs
• Hosted City of Flint Vendor Forum providing information for approximately 90 business owners who are interested in becoming a vendor or supplier
• Initiated performance-based contracts with measurable outcomes for community development programs
• Met with Dr. Edward J. Montgomery, Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, and acquired assistance with remediation of Buick City property
• Hosted U.S. Senator Levin and Assistant Secretary of the Army, and received commitment for the Hamilton Dam and the de-channelization of the Flint River
• Established dialogue with Kettering University, University of Michigan-Flint, Mott Community College, Baker College, Michigan State University and Hurley Hospital regarding economic and community development
• Participated in the Genesee Global Intermodal Corridor Initiative through the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce
• Utilized resources for community enhancements through Michigan’s Cities Of Promise initiative

Financial Cost Savings & Additional Revenues
• Settlement of the 9 year old Driskil sewer suits against the city involving 150 plaintiffs for a savings of approximately $2 million
• Resolved 300 personnel grievance cases, some dating back to 1979, for more than
$1 million in savings
• Hired additional city attorney to help reduce reliance on outside counsel with a cost savings of $100,000 annually for the city
• Obtained Medicare Part D rebates of $860,300
• Initiated 49 recovery claims against third parties for damages to City property has recovered $11,146
• Reorganized Finance and Budget Departments, including elimination of the Budget Director position at a savings of $143,000
• 5 percent pay reduction for Mayor Walling and 13 appointees resulting in a $70,000 savings this budget year
• Implemented federal stimulus and grant funds including:
o $1,763,839 for Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing
o $1,430,012 Justice Assistance Grant for equipment/police cars
o $4,224,621 for Neighborhood Stabilization Program
o $1,153,340 for Community Development Block Grant Recovery

Citizen Engagement
• Mayor’s office has completed more than 350 citizen service requests through response of City departments
• Hosted Neighborhood Action sessions in four wards (1, 2, 4, 5) with more than 150 total residents participating
• Scheduled sessions for remaining wards and will be completed on December 16
• Assisted 66 tenants and landlords in resolving housing disputes
• Assisted 3 residents in resolving conflicts through the Justice Without Walls program
• Assisted 111 families in retaining water service
• Assisted 28 families in retaining electrical/gas service
• Made approximately 200 citizen referrals to other community resource agencies
• Had 185 residents register for People’s Law School including 27 subjects taught by 37 volunteer faculty members

Public and Private Partnerships
• Worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to resolve several outstanding issues dating back to 1999 regarding incomplete projects and potential disallowed costs
• Collaborating with Genesee County and business leaders to produce a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the U.S. Department of Commerce
• Met with senior staff members of the Obama administration at the White House for discussions about key issues affecting Flint
• Facilitated regular meetings with Congressional and State legislative staff
• Mayor has met personally with our Congressional and State Delegation to discuss Flint’s needs and request support for key projects – Sen. Levin, Sen. Stabenow, Congressman Kildee, Sen. Gleason, Rep. Stanley and Rep. Gonzales
• Mayor has met with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to discuss Flint’s needs and challenges
• Established on-going dialogue with faith leaders in the community
• Utilized grant funds and technical assistance from the C.S. Mott Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint
• Initiated relationship with Flint School’s Superintendent Linda Thompson

Government Transparency
• Mayor provides daily updates on Twitter
• Established standing weekly press briefing
• Implemented City blog
• Implemented once a week Mayor’s Open Door
• Established communication with City employees through frequent e-mail updates
• Holding weekly meetings with members of City Council to discuss reorganization and resolutions

These accomplishments would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of every city employee, the union leadership, Flint City Council, members of boards and commissions, many dedicated public and private partners, community volunteers, and the administration’s leadership (in alphabetical order):

Dayne Walling, Mayor
Gregory Eason, City Administrator
Tracy Atkinson, DCED/Major Grants
Peter Bade, City Attorney
Doug Bingaman, Treasurer
Arnold Brown, Sanitation Supervisor
Mike Brown, Water Svc. Center Supervisor
Bob Erlenbeck, Risk Management
William Fowler, Assessments
Patrick Gerace, Neighborhood Services Director
Dawn Jones, Communications Director
Derrick Jones, Purchasing Director
Alvern Lock, Public Safety Director & Chief of Police
Cleora Magee, Acting Human Relations Director
Rhoda Matthews, Citizen Services Director
Tom McCabe, Public Works Director
Steve Montle, Green Cities Coordinator
Kay Muhammad, Trans. and Dev. Superintendent
Maxine Murray, Mayor’s Administrative Assistant
Donna Poplar, Human Resources Director
David Solis, Director of Governmental Policy
Stephen Todd, 9-1-1 Administrator
Michael Townsend, Finance and Budget Director
June Urdy, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
Dandre Williams, Fire Chief

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Flag Ceremony

Today is Veterans Day, when we pause to recognize the contributions and the sacrifices of America's men and women of the Armed Services.

This year on Veterans Day in the City of Flint, Mayor Walling will have the flags atop the three flagpoles on the lawn of city hall replaced. The worn and tattered flags will be lowered and removed and new flags will be raised and attached to the flagpoles. The city will replace the US Flag, State Flag and City of Flint Flag.

The Flag ceremony will be conducted by Commander Michael Robinson and the NJROTC unit from Flint Northwestern High School.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Flint Is Open For Business

City Of Flint will host free Vendor Forum for suppliers and vendors interested in contracting with the city.

The City of Flint’s Department of Purchases and Supplies is hosting a Vendor Forum. The forum will be held Tuesday, November 10, 2009 from 10 a.m. until Noon in the City Council Chambers on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 1101 South Saginaw Street. The purpose of the forum is to provide information about how to do business with the city.

Participants can expect to learn: the process of submitting an application to do business with the City of Flint, how the purchasing department processes requests for goods and services, what goods and services the city regularly procures, and how to utilize stimulus dollars in the community.

Registration for this event is free. For more information or to pre-register log on to our website at www.cityofflint.com/purchasing or visit the Department of Purchases and Supplies on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 1101 South Saginaw Street. Participants can also register on-site the day of the event.

Leading By Example

On Wednesday, November 4, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling took a bold step toward toward balancing the city's budget. Mayor Walling signed an executive order cutting his salary and the salaries of his 13 appointees by 5 percent.

This 5 percent salary reduction comes in the wake of an 11 percent revenue sharing cut to municipalities in the 2009/2010 state budget.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Greening Of Chevy In The Hole

Photo Courtesy of Jean Johnson/Flint Journal
Mayor Walling and son Bennett watch as first leaves are dumped at Chevy In The Hole.
The city begins first phase of brownfield reclamation project at Flint’s Chevy In The Hole.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and City of Flint Green Cities Coordinator Steve Montle announced a new program today involves bringing leaf and yard compost into Chevy In The Hole for brownfield reclamation at the site. The leaf and yard compost will be used to form the cap and green space for a future park.

This new process will provide a significant savings to the city. “We currently pay $300,000.00 a year to have our leaves and compost taken away and an additional $400,000.00 to have top soil brought in to backfill demolition sites,” said Green Cities Coordinator Steve Montle. “By filling in Chevy In The Hole with our leaf and yard compost it is expected to save the city a half million dollars a year, while at the same time moving us one step closer to repurposing that site as a park and green space for the community.”

Last month U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Assistant Secretary of the Army spent the day in Flint discussing Chevy In The Hole and The Hamilton Dam. The two were taken on a tour of both sites to assess their current condition and determine what it would take to move the projects forward.

Mayor Dayne Walling has been notified by the Army Corps that both Chevy In The Hole and The Hamilton Dam are being placed under 216 authority. This designation places the two sites in the Army Corps general budget.

The Army Corps of Engineers will spend a year planning and determining cost of repair of the dam and remediation of Chevy In The Hole. The cost had been previously estimated at $14 million dollars. Under the 216 authority the Army Corps will pay for 75% of the project, and the city will pay 25% of the cost.

The project is expected to take up to 4 years to complete.

Halloween One Of The Safest In Years In The City Of Flint

The tide is turning in Flint as the city records one of it's safest Halloween periods in recent memory. Flint Firefighters responded to a total of 6 fires from 5 p.m. October 30Th through 3 a.m. November 1st. In 2008 on the night before Halloween the city responded to 14 fires. There were more than 50 percent fewer fires for that same period this year.

Mayor Dayne Walling credits this success to the more than 150 volunteers who manned the city's police mini-stations and helped police patrol the streets.

The night before Halloween fires peaked in 1994 when there were nearly 200 fires.

Mayor Walling and Family Join Hundreds At Annual Halloween Party At Mott Community College

Mott Community College in Flint hosted it's annual free community Halloween party on Friday, October 30, 2009. The event drew hundreds of children and families from across the greater Flint area. The party included: candy bags for the children, costume contest, haunted house, and many other activities. It was a great family event.

Mayor Walling attended the party with his wife and two sons.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Re-branding Our Image

We are excited to announce our logo design contest. The contest is open to students in Flint from middle school through college. The winning logo design will reflect the city's diversity, strength, resilience, and pride. The deadline to submit entries is 5:00 p.m December 1, 2009. For complete contest rules please click here.

Nightline In Flint

ABC News Nightline Reporter John Donvan and his producer Mary Marsh recently spent a couple of days in Flint. They were here to interview Mayor Walling and County Treasurer Dan Kildee about population decline and the shrinking city concept.

Mayor Walling does not support the concept of shrinking Flint, but has a different approach to population decline. The mayor's approach calls for recycling our land and re-purposing it in a way that adds value to our community. The mayor's vision is to establish Flint as a 21st Century sustainable city with new jobs, safe neighborhoods and great schools.

The nightline story in my opinion was disappointing. The reporter and producer spent more time on the discussion of shrinking and little time on sustaining. They failed to get both sides of the story.

Click here to view the report and make your own judgement.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flint: The Toughest City In America!

Photo Courtesy of New York Times

New York Times columnist Dan Barry and photographer Fred Conrad spent several days in Flint last week. They were drawn to the city for the same reason many others are focusing on Flint these days; they're trying to capture our resilient spirit and gage how we are surviving in the face of population decline, high unemployment, and major manufacturing job losses. I've been told by more than 1 national reporter that Flint is on the threshold of developing a model of survival that other cities will follow. One thing for sure-Mayor Walling's model is about sustaining, not shrinking. "Amid Ruin of Flint, Seeing Hope in a Garden," click
here to read the article.

Friday, October 16, 2009

U.S. Senator Carl Levin Attends Day Long Meeting At City Hall

U.S. Senator Carl Levin, (D-MI) and Jo-Ellen Darcy the Assistant Secretary of the Army were in Flint for a day long meeting with Mayor Dayne Walling. The closed door meeting took place at City Hall, Friday, October 16, 2009. Flint’s Green Cities Coordinator Steve Montle and representatives from the offices of U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow were also in attendance.

The group discussed Chevy in the Hole and the Hamilton Dam. Sen. Levin and Asst. Secretary Darcy and others were taken on a guided bus tour of both sites to asess their current condition. They will determine what it will take to move these projects forward with the possible assistance of the Army Corps of Engineers. Senator Levin is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

“My office has had ongoing dialogue with our federal officials regarding these two projects. Our meeting today was productive and our talks will continue as we work on the most reasonable and cost effective strategy to move these projects forward,” said Mayor Walling. “I am just pleased to know that Chevy in the Hole and the Hamilton Dam are projects the federal government is considering as possible priorities.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

College Student Gets The City Hall Experience

Last month Jenny Serwach from U of M Flint spent an entire day with me. She wrote about her experience and the article appeared in this week's Michigan Times. In it she writes "it was one of the best days ever." She also writes about the Mayor's sense of humor and my kids. You can read the entire article by clicking here.

Flint's 4th Ward Gets Involved In Neighborhood Action Sessions!

It was a good turnout tonight at Asbury United Methodist Church for the 4th Ward introductory Neighborhood Action Sessions meeting. This was the second session hosted by Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. He will hold an introductory Neighborhood Action Sessions meeting in each of the city's 9 wards before Christmas.

Those who attended the 4th ward meeting were very engaged in the process. They asked good questions and identified a number of assets and opportunities in their community. Assets are those things in the community that add value. Washington Elementary School was one example several people gave. An opportunity is something in the community that could become an asset with a little TLC. One opportunity that many in the group sited is the vacant parking lots along Dort Highway that once held the cars of the thousands of AC Spark Plug and Delphi employees. One group from tonight's meeting said those lots would make good green spaces or community gardens. Another group thought the area would be great for erecting some basketball hoops for the youth.

That's what these Neighborhood Action Sessions meetings are supposed to do: spark discussion about assets we can build on in the community and opportunities where we can build assets.

One of the things I enjoy most about these sessions is the 15 minutes at the start of the meeting. This is the time we use to personally get to know each other and what in Flint makes us proud. Every person in the room stands up and introduces themselves and says 1 thing that they are proud of in the city of Flint.

I learned tonight that residents in the 4th ward are proud of their neighbors. They are proud of the leadership of Mayor Walling and most expressed pride in the spirit of the city and the residents.

Our next Neighborhood Action Sessions introductory ward meeting is October 28, 2009 in the 5th Ward at Job Corp on North Saginaw Street. It begins at 5:30. It would be great if it was a packed house. This is Our Flint: Strong and Proud, we need everyone to come out and participate in the process of positive change in our community.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mayor Walling In The Spotlight!

Photo Courtesy of GOOD
Mayor Dayne Walling is interviewed by Zach Frechette of GOOD an on-line blog. GOOD is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward.
The Mayor gave great insight into his plans and his vision for the City of Flint. Read the article below.
By Zach Frechette
When GM closed its factories in Flint, Michigan, the city was plunged into a period of darkness—famously depicted in the original Michael Moore documentary, Roger and Me—that has lasted for nearly 20 years. Widespread unemployment, plunging property values, and unchecked violence are just a few of the problems that continue plague this troubled town. Mayor Walling spoke to GOOD about how he plans to change all that. To read the complete article click here.

City Hall Week In Review

Monday, October 5, 2009

The week started with Flint Mayor Dayne Walling presenting the Key To The City to Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson and Screenwriter/Producer Fredrick Foote. Foote and Thompson are a part of an all-star ensemble filming the movie “Alleged” in Genesee County. Filming began September 14, 2009 at the Historic Stockton house in Flint and continued at Crossroads Village in Flint Township. Mayor Walling presented the keys at crossroads. Both Foote and Thompson were gracious recipients and told the crowd that gathered what a wonderful time they have had in Flint and Genesee County. We’ve known all along how great we are-it appears the rest of the world is getting the message.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Williams Elementary School Students

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling was up an at 'em bright and early Wednesday Morning. He started his day greeting the students of Williams Elementary School in Flint. Students and school administrators were celebrating their "Safe Routes To School" program.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling Announces Commitment to a Drug Free Workplace During Weekly Press Briefing.

The City of Flint has a Zero Tolerance position on drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Drug testing of city employees began in late September with employees of the fire department. Five firefighters were tested and two were positive for either drugs or alcohol. Two firefighters were let go. Right now the focus is on the city's public safety force. The mayor says "we want a force we can all trust and respect." Mayor Walling says more city employees will be tested.

Mayor Walling Hangs Out With Flint's Hall Of Fame Athletes

Mayor Walling attended the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall Of Fame awards ceremony at the Genesys Banquet Center in Grand Blanc Township. The Mayor dined with new inductees Jeff Grayer and Andre Rison(pictured above), Flint Northwestern Class of 1984 and 1985 respectively.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mayor Walling and City Officials Announce A 9.3 Million Dollar Settlement In A Nearly Decade Old Case Against The City

The Plaintiff's Attorney, Dean Yeotis praised Mayor Dayne Walling and City Attorney Pete Bade for doing what no other city administration was willing to do: end the "Driskill" lawsuit against the city. Nearly 10 years ago more than 300 Flint homeowners filed suit against the city of Flint after their homes were damaged when raw sewage spilled into their basements from a sewer back-up. Eventually the number of plaintiffs was pared down to 187 and a small number of them settled, leaving 150 active in the suit. More than a dozen separate trials were conducted in Genesee County Circuit Court. The city had substantial awards entered against them in every trial. Total judgments exceeded 11 million dollars.

The city of filed an appeal - the case remains before the Michigan Court of Appeals with interest accruing daily at the rate of $1,000 to $1,400 dollars a day. With a decision by the appeals court still 6 to 9 months away, both sides agreed to have a facilitator hear the cases. After two days of talks the two sides agreed to settle for 9.3 million dollars saving the city 2 million dollars.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says he is committed to getting some of these old cases, many years old, settled and off the books, so Flint can move forward. ·

The "Driskill" settlement offer is now headed to the Flint City Council for their approval.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Community Covenant Agreement

Mayor Dayne Walling signed the community covenant agreement tonight. It is believed to be the first time ever a Flint mayor has signed an agreement with the community. A few dozen people packed Damascus Holy Life church in Flint to witness the signing. The Covenant covers three areas of community engagement: neighborhood revitalization, neighborhood safety and education reform.

Following the covenant signing Mayor Walling participated in a town hall meeting. He shared with the audience the steps that have already been taken to address the three areas of the community engagement covered in the covenant.

The signing of the Community Covenant Agreement and Town Hall meeting was sponsored by Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT), a member of People Improving Community through Organizing (PICO).

Here are the details of the covenant

Community Covenant Agreement
Mayor Dayne Walling

I, Dayne Walling, the Mayor of the City of Flint, responded to questions on housing, safety, and education issues affecting the city that were posed to me by Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT) during its Mayoral Forum on Tuesday, July 20, 2009. I, hereby, reaffirm the following responses:

· Housing:
1. I will continue to work on a Master Community Plan and at the same time, seek expanded participation from all segments of the community in the planning process, including members of FACT. I will ensure that the process will have a fresh and more inclusive start by having an open meeting on the planning process in each ward by Thanksgiving 2009. (This date was amended-to December 16, 2009.)
2. I will share and discuss with the community at an open meeting in late September or early October the framework of my administration’s 21st Century Action Plan.
3. I will report to the community by December 31, 2009, the timeline for completing the components of the Master Plan. As the plan is being designed, I further pledge to pursue efforts to address abandoned housing and blight in Flint neighborhoods. One component of the plan will provide one mini-police station in each ward.

· Safety:
1. I will work with the community to pursue comprehensive reform in the Police Department to address criminal activities, gun violence, and other forms of violence in our city, ensuring that officers are assigned to do more block-by-block patrolling of neighborhoods to provide a more preventive presence. The Chief of Police will provide oversight on reform strategies and report to me regularly on departmental progress on meeting challenges and identifying opportunities. This reporting will be compiled on a ward and city-wide basis.
2. I will lead regular town hall meetings to gain citizens input and feedback on our progress regarding neighborhood safety concerns. I will also use the internet and other media to receive citizens’ input and feedback.

· Education:
1. I will seek a new level of cooperation between the city and Flint Schools with a central aim of creating a liaison with Flint families on their needs for change and reform.
2. In concert with the office of Inter-governmental Relations, I will personally lead efforts towards improving city government’s levels of cooperation with and support of the Flint School System so that all Flint children will have an equal opportunity for success.
3. I will provide quarterly updates on collaborative school reform strategies and their outcomes in a town hall meeting in different locations throughout the city.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Moving Flint Forward

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling hosted his first Neighborhood Action Session Thursday night at the Hasselbring Center in Flint’s 1st ward. It was exciting to see the 50 or so residents who came out to talk, to listen, to learn, and to contribute to the process of moving Flint forward.

Often people focus on the negative and fail to see the tangible and intangible positive assets we have in the city; assets that add value to our community and enrich our lives. So, at the start of the Neighborhood Action Session, everyone in attendance stood, introduced themselves and shared 1 thing that makes them proud in the city of Flint.

We discovered there is a lot to be proud of in our city. People expressed pride in the leadership of Mayor Dayne Walling. Some were proud to have a city facilitated forum allowing them the opportunity to help shape the city’s future. Several people expressed pride in the unquenchable spirit of the city and its residents. Most said they are proud to call Flint their home. Our Flint: Strong and Proud.

Our next Neighborhood Action Sessions ward meeting will be held in Ward 4 on October 14, 2009 from 5:30PM – 7:00PM.

We need your input-come out an be a part of positive change in the city of Flint.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Need Your Input

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling To Begin A Series Of Neighborhood Meetings

The Mayor will begin hosting a series of Neighborhood Action Sessions in each of the city's 9 Wards. The first session is scheduled for October 1, 2009 in Ward 1 at the Hasselbring Center.

The Neighborhood Action process is designed to allow residents the opportunity to help guide the deployment of limited city resources in ways that best meet their needs and desires. In addition, residents will, by ward, help identify ways to build upon our community assets while developing and implementing solutions to address our challenges. Our goal is to work together with citizens to create a prosperous and vibrant community. It’s all a part of the Mayor’s vision to create a 21st century city that includes New Jobs, Safe Neighborhoods, and Great Schools.
Neighborhood Action Sessions Meeting Schedule

Ward 1
October 1, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Hasselbring Center - 1002 Home Avenue

Ward 2
November 11, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Urban League of Flint – 5005 Cloverlawn

Ward 3 December, 7, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Berston Field House – 3300 N. Saginaw Street

Ward 4
October 14, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Asbury United Methodist Church -1653 Davison Road

Ward 5
October 28, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Job Corp Center – 2400 North Saginaw Street
Ward 6
December 16, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
McLaren Regional Medical Center
Ballenger Auditorium
401 South Ballenger Highway

Ward 7
November 30, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Brennan Center – 1301 Pingree
Ward 8
November 16, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Zimmerman Center Room 109
2421 Corunna Road

Ward 9
December 3, 2009 5:30PM-7:00PM
Insight – 1110 Eldon Baker Drive

The Neighborhood Action Sessions are sponsored by the City of Flint Mayor’s Office and the Department of Community and Economic Development in partnership with the Neighborhoods Small Grants Program Advisory Committee of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, The Ruth Mott Foundation Applewood Initiative for Gardening and Community, Resource Genesee, and UM-Flint Outreach.

Bikes On The Bricks In Downtown Flint

Thousands of Motorcycles lined Saginaw Street in Downtown Flint this past weekend for the 3rd Annual Bikes On The Bricks event. Flint Mayor Dayne Walling welcomed the bikers on Friday night, before they took off on a 30 mile ride around the greater Flint area.

A $5.00 entry fee was charged for each bike. The Proceeds from the event help support the Flint Police Activities League (PAL). They work with the Flint Public School system to help provide positive activities for the youth.

Friday, September 25, 2009

City Of Flint Recognized By Back To The Bricks Organizers

2009 marked the 5th year for the "Back To The Bricks" car show. This year the event was expanded to 5 days. It included a rolling cruise, an outdoor concert with the Contours and the Flint Symphony Orchestra and a drive-in movie. By all accounts this year's Back To The Bricks was bigger and better than ever. It's estimated that more than 250,000 people attended and pumped nearly 20 Million dollars into our local economy.

The event touched down in several communities along a 10 mile stretch of South Saginaw Street, with Flint being the largest community. The City's Public Safety Department along with the Parks and Recreation department were instrumental to the success of this event.

Al Hatch, founder of Back To The Bricks, recognized the city's contribution and awarded the Parks and Rec department a Gold Level Sponsor plaque. Mayor Dayne Walling accepted the award during the Back To The Bricks awards ceremony Thursday night.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An Afternoon With Political "Powerhouse" Donna Brazile

Tuesday afternoon Mayor Walling and I had the opportunity to hear a dynamic presentation from Political Strategist Donna Brazile. Ms. Brazile was the keynote speaker for The Foundation for Mott Community College Women in Education Fellowship Program.

I, like most people, had only heard Ms. Brazile speak on television. While I enjoy her television political commentary, I was really impressed by her live presentation. Ms. Brazile delivered a smart, inspiring, motivating speech.

She shared some personal stories about growing up as 1 of 9 children in Louisiana, and beginning her political career at the tender age of 9. She charged those who stood for change and voted for change to now fight for change. " The sidelines are full, we need people on the field," she said.

Great Pie In Downtown Flint!

Thursday afternoon when the Mayor and I left the WNEM studios we headed over to Rolls R Ready, a bakery shop in Downtown Flint. TV-5 Reporter Tia Ewing was telling us about the "White Potato Pie" and just how delicious it is. Never being one to turn down a good piece of pie, I suggested to the Mayor that we check it out. Evelyn is the very enthusiastic owner, she greeted us with her usual level of excitement and then-she served up the pie. It was pure delight for my taste buds! I think everybody should try a slice of "White Potato Pie" from Rolls R Ready at least once. Click here for location and menu options for Rolls R Ready.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling Begins "Ask The Mayor" Segment on WNEM TV-5

Thursday, September 24th Flint Mayor Dayne Walling began his new "Ask The Mayor" segment on WNEM-TV-5. The segment will run every Thursday-Live in the Noon news. The Mayor will answer viewer questions on any topic about Flint and City Hall. This is just another opportunity for the Mayor to connect with the residents of Flint. Today Mayor Walling answered questions about the plans for Chevy in the hole and the status of the redevelopment of the Buick City property. To watch today's "Ask The Mayor" click here.

If you would like to submit a question a link has been provided on this site to WNEM-TV5's question form.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nearly 100 People Turn Out For The Open For Business: Small Business Neighborhood Forum

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling hosted his first Small Business Neighborhood Forum Tuesday Night at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. It was a great success with nearly 100 people in attendance. The Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) joined with the City of Flint in this effort. Presenters included: Derrick Jones, City Of Flint Purchasing Director; Stan Blood, VP GRCC; Nell Taylor, Business Manager GRCC; Robert Goodman, Director of Flint Enterprise Community; and Dustin Frigy, Director of Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the GRCC.

Those in attendance received information on how to start and grow a business, how to secure government contracts, how to find funding sources, and they learned of the benefits of being a member of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mayor Dayne Walling Talks Public Safety on SuperTalk 1570

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling was a guest on this week's "Conversations From The Well" hosted by David Galbraith on SuperTalk 1570am radio. The Mayor discussed his public safety agenda, which includes a return to community policing and the opening of a police mini-station in every ward of the city. "Conversations From The Well" airs Sunday's at 10 a.m.

Mayor Dayne Walling Welcomes The Cast And Crew of "Alleged"

Lights, Camera, Action: Filming begins in Flint on a new Hollywood feature. Flint Mayor Dayne Walling was there to welcome the all-star cast and crew of the new feature film "Alleged." Filming began September 14th at the Historic Stockton House in Flint.

Nathan West and Ashely Johnson co-star in the movie about the historic Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.

Dr. Ed Montgomery Talks Redevelopment With Flint Mayor Dayne Walling

Dr. Ed Montgomery, President Barack Obama's auto recovery chief, made a brief stop at Flint City Hall Friday, September 18, 2009. The auto recovery czar spent 2 hours meeting with Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. This was the first face to face meeting between the two.

There were many items of discussion on the agenda, including the proposed redevelopment of Buick City. Mayor Walling and Dr. Montgomery talked about ways the city and the federal government can work together to move the project to the next phase. Future development of the site is pending as environmental concerns are worked out.

Mayor Walling and Dr. Montgomery are scheduled to meet again later this month.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rebuilding The Local Economy One Small Business At A Time

Flint is Open For Business!

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling will host an Open For Business: Small Business Neighborhood Forum, September 22, 2009 from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1083 East Stewart Avenue.

The purpose of the Small Business Neighborhood Forum is to provide resources and information that can help small businesses grow and prosper in our community. It also provides an opportunity for business owners to share their challenges, concerns and needs as it relates to operating a business in the City of Flint.

The Mayor will discuss how his administration is working to get rid of some of the red tape, making it easier to own a business in the city. The Genesee County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the city of Flint’s Purchasing Department and the Flint Area Enterprise Community are among the agencies that will be represented.

Please R.S.V.P. by Noon September 22nd to Rhoda Matthews, Director of Citizen Services at (810) 766-7346 or e-mail rmatthews@cityofflint.com