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

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.