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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Will You Support A Public Safety Millage?

The City of Flint is exploring all options to generate new revenue to maintain a high level of public safety services in this community. One idea being considered is a Public Safety Millage. There are two proposals being considered.

One would levy an additional tax on real and personal property in an amount not to exceed four (4 mills). This would generate approximately $5M in the first year.

The other proposal calls to levy an addiitonal tax on real and personal property in an amount not to exceed six (6 mills). This proposal also includes the Flint Fire Department and would generate approximately $7.5M in the first year.

What are your thoughts on a Public Safety Millage? Would you be willing to pay more to maintain public safety services in Flint? You can share your thoughts about the Public Safety Millage proposals with Mayor Walling via email at mayor@cityofflint.com.

Below is the actual language of the two proposals being considerd.

Four (4 Mills) Proposal:
Shall Section 7.201 (A) (4) be added to the Charter of the City of Flint to authorize the City to levy an additional tax on real and personal property in an amount not to exceed four (4) mills for 6 years, from 2011 through 2017, for the sole purpose of paying for public safety services, including a city wide community police program and operation of a city jail? It is estimated that 4 mils would raise approximately $5,000,000 in the first year.

Six (6 Mills) Proposal:
Shall Section 7.201 (A) (4) be added to the Charter of the City of Flint to authorize the City to levy an additional tax on real and personal property in an amount not to exceed six (6) mills for 6 years, from 2011 through 2017, for the sole purpose of paying for public safety services, including a city wide community police program,operating a city jail, and provide fire department services? It is estimated that 6 mils would raise approximately $ 7,500,000 in the first year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

City To Begin Fall Leaf Clean-Up November 1, 2010

The City of Flint will being its annual Fall Clean-Up program on Monday, November 1, 2010 through Friday, November 26, 2010.

Yard signs will be posted one week in advance of when city maintenance crews will begin
clean-up in a certain area. City crews will only go through an area once for leaf pick-up. Any remaining leaves should be bagged and placed at the curb. Bagged leaves will be picked up with regular scheduled compost pick-up. Compost collection ends November 27, 2010.

City crews will perform the fall leaf clean-up from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. In an effort to maximize clean-up operations residents are asked to not park vehicles on the street between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. during the week fall clean-up is scheduled in their area.

Monday, October 11, 2010

City Hall To House Criminal Division of 68th District Court

The Criminal Division of Flint’s 68th District Court is temporarily relocating to the lower level of Flint City Hall beginning at 8:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 2010.

The court’s three criminal judges: Cathy Dowd; Nathaniel Perry; and Tracy Collier-Nix will preside over cases from courtrooms that have established in the basement of City Hall. This temporary arrangement is expected to remain in effect until further notice.

On September 6, 2010 a flood occurred at the McCree Building where 68th District Court is located. The flood made it impossible for the court to continue operating out of the McCree Building. The Civil Division of the court has been temporarily relocated to the Great Lakes Tech Center, 4400 South Saginaw Street, Suite #1250. The Civil Division handles general civil, landlord tenant, small claims and traffic violation matters. The Criminal Division of the court will operate from the lower level of City Hall, 1101 South Saginaw Street. Court hours are from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm at both locations.

Members of the public with court matters should enter City Hall through the main doors off Saginaw Street and take the elevator to the basement level. The court is located to the right of the elevators.

Street parking is available around City Hall on Saginaw Street, Fifth Street, and Seventh Street. Free parking is available at a public lot on Seventh Street, just east of Saginaw Street.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Elias Abuelazam Is Charged With Murder

During a press conference Monday morning Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton announced several new charges against Elias Abuelazam, the suspect in a series of stabbings and murders in Flint and Genesee County.

Abuelazam, who is being held in the Genesee County Jail charged with one count of assault with intent to murder, was charged Monday with four additional counts of assault with intent to murder. These new counts are related to the stabbings of three men from Flint and one from Genesee Township.

Prosecutor Leyton also announced the first murder charge against Abuelazam. The suspect ischarged with the August 2, 2010 stabbing death of Arnold Minor. “The victims DNA profile or blood was found inside the suspect’s vehicle,” said Prosecutor Leyton. The Prosecutor is waiting for results from evidence at the Michigan State Crime Lab to determine if Abuelazam will face more charges.

Abuelazam is suspected of stabbing 14 people in Genesee County, killing 5. He is also
suspected of similar assaults in Ohio and Virginia.

For several days in early August, Flint was a community on edge after police alerted
residents of a possible serial stabber. More than 400 tips were called in to the tip
line about the possible whereabouts and identity of the suspected killer. On August 11,2010, 33 year old Abuelazam was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia while preparing to board a plane to Israel.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling credits the community with helping investigators capture thesuspect. “Because someone was willing to share information about a crime this community now breathes a sigh of relief knowing this suspected killer is off the streets. “There are many unsolved crimes in our community just waiting for someone to speak up. We need more peopleto come forward and share information about crimes that have been committed.”

Sunday, August 1, 2010

South Half of Kettering Gateway Project Set To Open August 2, 2010

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling along with Congressman
Dale E. Kildee (D-MI) and other public officials, contractors, and representatives from Kettering University, will announce the opening of the south half of the Kettering Gateway Project on Monday, August 2, 2010.

When completed the $3M project will connect I-69 to Kettering University through a more direct route from Hammerberg Road to Chevrolet Avenue.

Funding for the project came from federal stimulus funds, provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and more than $1M in funding secured by Congressman Kildee through the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

August 2, 2010 Flint Police Volunteer Training Rescheduled

The City of Flint has rescheduled the Flint Police Volunteer Training for August 2, 2010 at 6:00PM at the MTA Downtown Terminal. The new date for the training is Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 6:00PM at the MTA Downtown Terminal in the Rosa Parks Room.

The Flint Police Volunteer Training is a part of the City of Flint’s ongoing training sessions for residents interested in being a member of the Blue Badge Patrol Volunteer Corps. These training sessions also include Mini Station Volunteer Training and Crime Watch Training.

The Blue Badge Patrol Volunteer Corps was implemented by Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. It provides an amazing opportunity for government and residents to work together. Blue Badge is built upon the principals of community policing. Community policing means community members are the ‘eyes and ears’ for police, addressing both crime and quality of life issues. The Blue Badge Patrol is the umbrella for all City of Flint crime fighting initiatives that involve active participation from residents, including block clubs, crime watches, mini station and police volunteers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

City To Host Ceasefire Community Meeting

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling joins Flint Area Congregations Together
To Host Ceasefire Community Meeting
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT) will host a Ceasefire community meeting. This free community event will be held Tuesday July 13, 2010 at 6:00pm at First Presbyterian Church, 746 South Saginaw Street.
Chief Jim Fealy of the High Point, North Carolina Police Department will be the featured speaker.

Chief Fealy will discuss how the Ceasefire Public Safety initiative helped turn his city around. The City of High Point implemented the Ceasefire model in 1997 and has reported a more than 50 percent reduction in crime in their community.

The Flint Ceasefire public safety initiative is built on the foundation of strong enforcement coupled with coordinated opportunities for rehabilitation for some offenders. Flint Ceasefire relies on strong partnerships among law enforcement, social service providers, government, faith leaders and the community. During the Ceasefire community meeting residents will learn how they can join with this coalition to help make Flint safer.

The Flint Ceasefire initiative is comprised of several key components including: community mobilization, public education, data driven enforcement, selection of targeted offenders and youth outreach and violence interruption. The program draws on several models including High Point, NC Drug Market Intervention (DMI) and the Chicago Ceasefire Initiative.

The City of Flint has requested more than $2.5M in federal grants for the implementation of this program. Mayor Dayne Walling says with or without the federal grant dollars the city is committed to implementing Ceasefire. "The residents of this community have told me that public safety is their top priority. The police chief and I are committed to an effective crime reduction strategy," said Mayor Walling. The Ceasefire Public Safety model has been effective in other cities; I believe it can be effective in our community too."

City Begins Blue Badge Volunteer Corps Training

Beginning Tuesday, July 13, 2010 the City of Flint will begin Blue Badge Patrol Volunteer Corps Training. The training sessions are for residents interested in being a volunteer at one of the city’s police mini-stations; a neighborhood crime watch; or Flint Police volunteer.

Mayor Dayne Walling’s Blue Badge Patrol Volunteer Corps is the umbrella for all City of Flint crime fighting initiatives that involve active participation from residents, including block clubs, crime watches, mini stations and police volunteers.

The program offers an amazing opportunity for government and residents to work together. It is built upon the principles of community policing. Community policing means community members are the ‘eyes and ears’ for police, addressing both crime and quality of life issues.
“It is partnerships between residents, business owners, and police working together that have a positive impact on reducing neighborhood crime, reducing fear of crime and enhancing the quality of life in the community,” said Mayor Dayne Walling.

Training and successfully passing a background check is required for all participants in the Blue Badge Patrol Volunteer Corps.

Training sessions have been scheduled for the following days:

Blue Badge Training Sessions
Mini Station Volunteer Training
July 13, 2010 - 9:30AM - Haskell Community Center
July 14, 2010 – 2:00 PM – Haskell Community Center
Crime Watch Training
July 26, 2010 – 6:00PM – Urban League of Flint
July 28, 2010 – 6:00PM – MCC Regional Technology Center (Auditorium)
Flint Police Volunteer Training
August 2, 2010 – 6:00PM – MTA Downtown Terminal (Rosa Parks Room)
August 4, 2010 – 10:00AM – Flint Public Library

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

City Of Flint Residents Advised Against The Illegal Use of Fire Hydrants

The use of fire hydrants by unauthorized persons is a violation of
Flint City Ordinance and presents a public safety threat.

City of Flint officials are advising residents to not turn on fire hydrants for relief from the sweltering heat of summer. The use of fire hydrants by unauthorized persons is a violation of Flint city ordinance and presents a public safety threat.

The ordinance is found in the Flint city charter under section 46-15 - Use of Hydrants without Permission. It shall be unlawful for any person, other than city employees, to use hydrants without first having obtained permission from the Fire Chief and the Superintendent of Water Supply. Violation of this ordinance is a misdemeanor offense.

There is also a risk of injury to the persons involved when these hydrants are being turned on illegally. The illegal use of fire hydrants can also cause a public safety threat as well. The city’s fire suppression is at risk whenever hydrants are turned on illegally. The illegal use of fire hydrants can make it impossible for the city to supply enough water in emergency situations causing the possible loss of life, buildings and homes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling Will Not Veto Adopted Budget

Compromise will Bring Back Every Week Garbage Collection

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling announced today that he will not veto the 2011 fiscal year budget. The budget was unanimously adopted by the 9 member Flint City Council on June 7, 2010. It takes effect July 1, 2010. The compromise will allow every week garbage collection to begin later next month.

“This budget reflects a lot of hard work and and financial responsibility on the part of Council. 95 percent of this budget is exactly what I proposed. It’s only 5 percent that Council and I disagree on,” said Mayor Walling. “I am willing to compromise while we make changes to live within our revenues and provide high quality services for the residents of the City of Flint.”

Walling expressed concerns about the long-term viability of the every week garbage collection but is satisifed that Council will work with the administration on necessary changes.

The fiscal year 2011 budget is effective July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mayor Dayne Walling considers veto of City Council adopted budget

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said in a press conference Wednesday that he is considering a veto of the budget adopted Monday by the Flint City Council.

"We agree on 95% of the budget it's the 5% that we are in disagreement on. I'm most concerned about the steep cuts the council made to Community and Economic Development at a time when this community is in desperate need of jobs and new job creation," said Mayor Walling.

The Mayor has until June 16th to veto the proposed budget.

Mayor meets with Swedish Biogas officials during trip to Sweden

Mayor Dayne Walling in Sweden touring the Swedish Biogas plant with
Flint CEO for Biogas and also the International COO for Biogas.

Flint will soon have one of these gravity belt thickener pictured in the background as part of the treatment process for the biomethane digester for the swedish biogas operation at the city's wastewater treatment plan.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Governor Jennifer Granholm Responds To City's Request For Increased State Police Presence In the City

Governor Granholm says call by some for National Guard Intervention is not warranted or necessary for this situation.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Mayor Dayne Walling today announced that the city’s request for additional presence of Michigan State Police (MSP) in the city of Flint is being honored and went into effect last night.

The announcement follows a series of conference calls late Wednesday between the governor, the mayor, Michigan State Police Director Col. Eddie Washington, Jr., and Flint Public Safety Director Alvern Lock.

“Public safety is our top priority, and we stand ready to assist our local partners to ensure that citizens are protected and remain safe,” Granholm said today. “For that reason, we are honoring Mayor Walling’s request that additional resources from the Michigan State Police be made available to the residents of Flint.”

“We share the governor’s commitment to public safety, and we are grateful to the Michigan State Police increasing their presence in our city,” Walling said. “These are difficult budget times that have resulted in very difficult decisions, but with the assistance of the Michigan State Police, we can stem the tide of violence in our city.”

Beginning last night, the MSP tripled its uniform presence in the city and will work with the Flint Police Department to ensure that there is a visible law enforcement presence in the city. The Michigan State Police has been actively involved in law enforcement within the city limits, where it has maintained a uniform and investigative presence for the past five years.

There has been no request for assistance from the Michigan National Guard, which the governor confirmed is not warranted or appropriate in this instance.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buick City Clean-Up Plan Finalized


Plan is released 1 day after the Federal Government announces a trust of nearly $1Billion for the clean-up and redevelop of dozens of former General Motors sites across the country

The final U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan for the clean-up of Buick City comes on the heels of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers announcement Tuesday of a landmark federal framework to speed the cleanup and redevelopment of shuttered auto facilities resulting from the GM bankruptcy. The federal government is investing nearly $836 Million to put facilities back into productive use, with hopes of creating jobs and economic growth in communities across the country.

EPA Region 5 today announced its final decision on an estimated $5 million to $7 million cleanup plan to address historical contamination on the South end portion of the former General Motors Buick City property in Flint, Mich.

The South end portion of the 452-acre property includes the area south of Leith Street, bounded to the east by Cole Boulevard and the Flint River and to the south by Harriet Street.

Due to General Motors’ bankruptcy, Motors Liquidation Corp. is the successor company and current owner of the site. Buick City’s south end is the first of the former General Motors sites to have a final cleanup plan. The EPA will oversee the cleanup work in consultation with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

“Finalizing the cleanup plan is a key milestone in the future redevelopment of Buick City,” said Margaret Guerriero, director of EPA Region 5’s Land and Chemicals Division. “Most of the cleanup work will be subsurface or in isolated areas of the site. The cleanup should not impact—or slow down—any plans for a new business that wants to operate on the property.”

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is excited about the opportunity for redevelopment of this site. “It’s great news for our community that Buick City is the first former General Motors manufacturing site in the country with an approved reclamation plan. A potential investor has already expressed interest in purchasing this location for a future intermodal operation,” said Mayor Walling. “With this plan in place and the federal financial commitment to the clean-up and redevelopment process, it’s akin to having our very own stimulus fund. This is a game changer for Flint. It opens the door for us to create jobs, recycle properties, and become more competitive in this 21st century global economy.”

With the cleanup plan finalized, the next step is for the EPA to receive a detailed project implementation plan from MLC’s contractors. Most work at the site will begin in 2011. Through the fall and winter, area residents may occasionally see sampling teams or other environmental workers at the site.

For more information, including a fact sheet for the plan as it was proposed in February, see www.epa.gov/reg5rcra/wptdiv/sites/buickcity/. An information repository with site documents has been established at the Flint Main Branch Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley St.

- Automotive production at the Buick City property began in the 1890s
- The Buick Motor Co. moved to Flint in 1903 and became a division of General Motors when that corporation was formed in 1908
- The facility also produced military equipment during World Wars I and II
- Manufacturing operations at the South end portion of the site ceased in 1999
- More than 15 million Buicks were built at the Buick City complex
- During the 1970’s, General Motors employed nearly 30,000 people at the Buick City - it was the largest UAW local in the U.S.

- Michigan has over 4000 acres of MLC property

- Flint area has over 850 acres of MLC property, which is more than 20 percent of the
Michigan total

- City of Flint proper has 640 acres of MLC property and 4.7 million sq. ft. of buildings

- City of Flint has the most MLC land of any city in the country

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mayor Dayne Walling Will Attend Summit on Auto Impacted Communities

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling will travel to Washington D.C. to attend a summit on auto impacted communities. The Auto Communities and the Next Economy: Partnerships in Innovation summit is being hosted by the White House and Washington based Brookings Institution.

Mayor Walling will be joined at the conference by mayors from across the country whose communities have been negatively impacted by the decline of the automotive industry. The summit will focus on American auto communities and their role in the future.

“This summit provides a unique opportunity for Mayor’s of the country’s hardest hit auto communities to come together and share with the federal government what is needed to help turn our communities around,” said Mayor Walling. “No other community in the country has been impacted the way Flint has from the downturn of the automotive sector. I am looking forward to an engaging and productive discussion around the revitalization of American auto communities.”

The summit will be held in Washington D.C. May 17 – 18, 2010.

About Brookings Institute
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Whose mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, provide innovative, practical recommendations that advance three broad goals:
Strengthen American democracy;
Foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans and
Secure a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mayor Walling Talks Trash Collection, Compost, and the Return of Firefighers During Weekly Message

Please click here to view the Mayor's weekly video message for May 10, 2010.

City Of Flint Brings Back 34 Laid Off Firefighters

This addition brings the total number of firefighters in the department to 100

The City of Flint has re-hired 34 previously laid off firefighters. The layoffs date back to 2007 including 21 firefighters who were laid off as of March 24, 2010. The city plans to hire 5 additional firefighters by July 1, 2010, bringing the total number of
re-hires and new hires to 39.

The city of Flint received a $6.7M Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from FEMA, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, to bring the fire department staffing levels to 105. The grant which covers salaries and benefits for 39 firefighters is effective from May 10, 2010 through May 10, 2012.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling applauds the efforts of FEMA for funding 100% of the city’s grant request. “This is great news for the community. We asked for funding for 39 firefighters and we received it,” said Mayor Walling. “Just recently the city was forced to layoff nearly 2 dozen firefighters. This grant not only restores those 21 laid off firefighters but it also adds more than a dozen more firefighters to the ranks making this the largest fire department this community has had in several years.”

The increase in staffing in the Flint fire department has made it possible for the city to re-open two previously closed fire stations. Fire Station #8 on Atherton Road and Fire Station #3 on Martin Luther King Avenue are open and serving the community as of May 10, 2010.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy Expanding Into Flint Bringing More Than 1,000 Jobs Over The Next Five Years

Mayor Dayne Walling Welcomes The Expansion Of Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy Into Flint. Expansion expected to bring 1,000+ new jobs to the City of Flint over the next five years

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, the nation’s largest privately held specialty pharmacy company, has received a $61.5 million tax credit from the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board for a new headquarters and expansion in Flint at the Great Lakes Technology Centre where the company expects to add more than 1,000 jobs over the next five years.

Diplomat was notified of the 18-year tax credit during today’s MEGA board meeting in Lansing. The MEGA board provides refundable tax credits against the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) to companies expanding or relocating their operations in Michigan. Flint beat out competing sites in Ohio and Texas for the multi-million dollar project.

In addition, the company will receive a $14-million grant over 10 years for worker training through Career Alliance, Inc., a Michigan Works agency serving Genesee and Shiawassee counties.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said this is a significant step toward substantial job creation in the city. “We are excited about the possibility of the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs in the City of Flint over the next five years in the rapidly growing life sciences and healthcare field,” said Mayor Walling. “The majority of these new jobs will be filled with residents from right here in our community who have been trained through Career Alliance. With this expansion of Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy we are positioning ourselves as a regional leader in health technology and life sciences.”

“This is great news for the City Of Flint. All aspects of the healthcare industry are growing. I am hoping with the expansion of Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy into our city it serves as a springboard to attract similar business to our area with the same kind of job creation and economic development potential,” said Delrico Loyd, President, Flint City Council.

Diplomat will invest $12M over the next five years into the expansion. The company plans to purchase the 340,000 square foot building at the Great Lakes Technology Centre on south Saginaw Street and begin consolidating operations from its current headquarters on Elms Road in Flint Township. The transition is expected to begin in 90 days.

“The award to Diplomat means Michigan can further position itself as a life sciences leader, attracting new and complementary businesses that support the rejuvenation of the Flint business landscape and the appeal of Michigan as a hotbed of ingenuity and health care talent,” said Phil Hagerman, Diplomat’s president, CEO and co-founder. “We thank Governor Granholm, the MEGA board, the City of Flint and the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce for their support in assuring that Diplomat will remain a Michigan-based company.”

For more information about Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, including company history, executive team, project details, hiring plans and other information, visit http://projectpromise.diplomatpharmacy.com. Additional employment information will be available from Career Alliance (http://www.gsworks.org/).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mayor Dayne Walling In NYC For Mayor's Institute On City Design Conference

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is spending the week in New York City attending the Mayors' Institute on City Design (MICD) conference. Mayor Walling is one of six mayors from across the country who has been invited to attend the session. The MICD is taking place April 14–16 in New York City and is the first in MICD’s 24-year history to be held in America’s largest city.

As an invited Mayor to the conference, Mayor Walling’s expenses to attend are covered by the MICD. “This is an excellent opportunity for me to connect with some of the best urban planners in the country. What I take away from this experience will be invaluable as we begin comprehensive master planning in the city of Flint,” said Mayor Walling.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is hosting Mayor Walling along with Mayor Carl Brewer, Wichita, KS; Mayor George K. Heartwell, Grand Rapids, MI; Mayor Lori C. Moseley, Miramar, FL; Mayor Joseph C. O’Brien, Worcester, MA; Mayor A. C. Wharton Jr., Memphis, TN; and Mayor Jay Williams, Youngstown, OH.

MICD has assembled an outstanding resource team to guide the mayors through the design process: Robert Freedman, MRAIC, AICP, LSUC, Director of Urban Design, Toronto, Canada; Gordon Gill, AIA, Partner, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, LLP, Chicago, IL; Toni L. Griffin, Urban Design and Planning for the American City, Newark, NJ; Walter J. Hood Jr., Principal, Hood Design, Oakland, CA; Michael P. Kelly, General Manager, New York City Housing Authority, New York, NY; Bonnie Nelson, Principal, Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, San Francisco, CA; and Russell Perry, FAIA, LEED AP, VP and Managing Director, SmithGroup, Washington, DC.

The Mayors’ Institute on City Design is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors and the American Architectural Foundation. Since its inception in 1986, the Mayors' Institute has worked with more than 800 mayors, transforming communities across the country by preparing mayors to become the chief urban designers of their cities. Industrial waterfront conversion, transit-oriented development, public housing redesign, neighborhood sustainability, and civic space design are just a few of the topics addressed at recent meetings of the Mayors’ Institute.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mayor Dayne Walling Begins Weekly Video Messaging

This week Flint Mayor Dayne Walling recorded his first weekly video message. His inaugural video message included a review of public safety issues, every other week trash collection, city golf courses and the upcoming budget.

The video message can be viewed on the city's website http://www.cityofflint.com/. Video messages are also uploaded to YouTube. Please click here to view the mayor's first video message.

Mayor Dayne Walling Discusses SAFER Grant On WNEM's "Ask The Mayor" Segment

Mayor Dayne Walling answered questions about the SAFER grant and the city's golf courses on his weekly Ask The Mayor segment on WNEM TV-5. Please click here to see the interview.

City of Flint Partners with Genesee County Land Bank on Trash and Weed Abatement Program

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and Doug Weiland, Executive Director of the Genesee County Land Bank unveiled the details of the partnership during a press conference today.

Under the partnership the Land Bank will conduct weed and trash abatement activities throughout the City of Flint at no cost to the city. The City of Flint will provide, at no cost, the use of the pole building at the Oak Businesses Center for storage of equipment and as a central work site for the Land Bank to conduct weed and trash abatement.

Mayor Dayne Walling says the partnership will be a great help to the City of Flint during a time when resources are stretched and maintenance demands remain steady. “This is great for our community. This partnership with the Genesee County Land Bank is going to make our neighborhoods cleaner and more attractive this summer and it’s not going to impact our budget,” said Mayor Walling.

Funding for the weed and trash abatement program is provided through federal stimulus money. The program will run through October 29, 2010. Under the program the city of Flint has been divided into 21 service areas. Work crews will go through these service areas three times each during the length of the program. They will perform trash and weed abatement activities that include: trash and weed removal; vacant lot maintenance, including mowing; and boarding and securing homes citywide on a complaint basis.

“The real beneficiaries of this partnership with the City are the residents of Flint. While this is tough, dirty work, our crews are rewarded by the appreciation they see on the faces of the residents every day,” said Doug Weiland, Executive Director, Genesee County Land Bank.

Since its inception in 2002, the Genesee County Land Bank has taken the lead in applying the economic tools created under this new system by playing an active role in stabilizing neighborhoods and revitalizing the City of Flint and the surrounding areas.

The Land Bank encourages re-use of more than 4,000 residential, commercial and industrial properties that it has acquired through the tax foreclosure process. This is accomplished through partnerships with public, private and non-profit partners as well as with the proceeds from the tax foreclosure process, proceeds from GCLB sales and rental programs, grants, loans, and bonds.

The Land Bank has 10 programs: Planning and Outreach, Brownfield Redevelopment, Development, Adopt-a-Lot, Clean and Green, Demolition, Housing Renovation, Sales, Side Lot Transfer and Foreclosure Prevention.

For more information contact Dawn Jones, City of Flint Communications
Director at (810) 237-2039 or dfjones@cityofflint.com or the
Genesee County Land Bank at (810) 257-3088.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

City Of Flint Begins Every Other Week Trash Collection

Begins March 29th in the Red Zone
and April 5th in the Blue Zone

Flint, Michigan – March 23, 2010 – Monday night before members of the Flint City Council, Mayor Dayne Walling announced that the city will implement it’s every other week trash collection program beginning March 29, 2010.

Mayor Walling said the program is an effort to help save cost at a time when the city is facing a multi-million dollar budget deficit. “Through every other week trash collection the city will save approximately $20,000 a week and more than a million dollars over the next fiscal year. These savings will add up as we continue to work to balance our budget,” said Mayor Walling.

Under the every other week trash collection schedule the City of Flint is divided into a blue zone and red zone to identify the every other week trash collection routes.

The every other week trash collection schedule for red zone residents begins Monday, March 29, 2010. For residents in the blue zone, their new trash collection schedule will begin Monday, April 5, 2010. Everyone’s trash collection day will remain the same, only the frequency of the collection will change from once a week to every other week.

Residents are being notified of the change through a direct mail campaign. Residents living in the red zone will receive a red brochure with details of their every other week trash collection schedule. For residents within the blue zone they will receive a blue brochure with details of their every other week trash collection. Residents will begin receiving the mailers the week of March 22nd.

For more information please click here or call the Mayor's office at
(810) 766-7346.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mayor Dayne Walling Talks About Possible Casino In Flint with WJR Radio Host Frank Beckmann

The interview aired live on March 2, 2010 on Detroit's WJR News/Talk 760.
Please click here to listen to the interview

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mayor Dayne Walling Delivers His First State Of The City Address

On Thursday February 25, 2010 Flint Mayor Dayne Walling delivered his first State of the City address before a packed city council chamber. The tone of the speech was truthful...but hopeful.

Please click here for a transcript of the entire speech.

Flint City Hall Will Be Open On Remaining 10 Employee Layoff Days

Mayor Dayne Walling is rescinding approximately 109 AFSCME Local #1600 layoff notices. The city’s largest employee union did not reach a letter of understanding with the administration on the12 employee layoff days.

According to language in the AFSCME Local #1600 union contract employees cannot have their work week reduced to below 40 hours without a letter of understanding. The city has reimbursed eligible members for the 2 employee layoff days that have already been taken. For the remaining 10 layoff days local #1600 employees will report to work at city hall and the municipal building will be open for business.

The administration did sign a letter of understanding agreeing to 12 employee layoff days with AFSCME Local #1799. Employees of this local, as well as exempt employees and appointees will continue take the remaining employee layoff days on a modified schedule.

“The layoff days were an effort to achieve cost savings without indefinite layoffs of city employees. Because we could not reach an agreement with local #1600 on this effort, the city will now realize these costs savings through indefinite layoffs of AFSCME Local #1600 members,” said Mayor Walling.

The following dates reflect the days Flint City Hall will now be open to the public.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Mayor Dayne Walling

Happy 36th Birthday
Mayor Dayne Walling

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mayor's Car Sold To The Highest Bidder

Mayor Dayne Walling's Official City Car, a 2000 LeSabre with a Flint built engine, sold for $4,650.00 at the Auto Auction.

The Mayor's Official City Car To Be Auctioned

Mayor Walling’s official city car will be auctioned Tuesday, February 16, 2010. The auction will begin at 10:00 am at Complete Towing at 3401 North Dort Highway, Flint, Michigan.

Mayor Dayne Walling announced earlier this month that he would be providing the Mayor’s Car for auction as another cost savings effort during these challenging financial times in the city.
The 2000 Buick LaSabre will be among more than 100 vehicles being auctioned. These cars will be sold to the highest bidder.

A minimum $120.00 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold vehicles until the final payment deadline. All final payments will be due by the close of business Thursday, February 18, 2010 in the City Treasurer’s/Customer Service office located at City Hall. Deposits will be taken in advance by the Treasurer of the City of Flint at the impound office.

All minimum bidding will begin at $120.00. The city reserves the right of one bid.

The auction is being sponsored by City of Flint Department of Purchases and Supplies and the Flint Police Department.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

City Of Flint Employee Layoff Days Will Begin February 5th

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling provided details of his latest costs savings measure during his weekly press briefing Wednesday afternoon

Mayor Dayne Walling announced today that all non-public safety city employees will take 12 unpaid days off through the remainder of the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

The City of Flint is facing a tough financial forecast. Last weekend in a 7 hour session auditors presented city officials with a mid-budget year financial update. The audit revealed a projected $8 million dollar budget shortfall in the general fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

“I am committed to fiscal responsibility and ending the budget year with a balanced budget. To achieve this, with a looming projected $8 million dollar deficit, my administration has to consider every cost cutting measure to bring our budget into balance,” said Mayor Walling. “These cost saving measures are going to impact us all, including my administration, city employees and their families as well as the residents and tax payers of this city who deserve a fiscally responsible city hall.”

The city has been working collaboratively with its unions to reach an agreement on how to best meet these financial challenges while preserving jobs. “I am encouraged by the spirit of cooperation our union leadership has taken during these very sensitive and in many ways unprecedented negotiations that have taken place over the past several weeks.”

The city continues to engage in talks with its police and fire unions in hopes of reaching an agreement on immediate cost savings that can be enacted to avert any layoffs of police and fire personnel. Mayor Walling remains optimistic that an agreement will soon be reached.

Mayor Walling announced that the city has reached an agreement of
understanding with ASFCME Local #1799 on an immediate cost saving measure. He expressed optimism that the same agreement of understanding will be reached with the city’s largest union AFSCME Local #1600.

Beginning Friday, February 5, 2010 all non-public safety employees including Mayor Walling, his appointees, and exempt employees will take 12 non paid lay off days during the remainder of this fiscal year. These 12 days are projected to save the city $410,000.

These 12 layoff days will result in the closure of City of Flint Municipal Building Offices,with the exception of the Municipal Building South entrance where the following departments are located: Rental Inspections, Demolitions, Traffic Engineering, and Building Safety Inspections. These departments will remain open.

Also the city’s 24 hour operations: Public Safety, 9-1-1, Water and Sewer will not be affected by the closure. Trash collection will continue as scheduled and the city’s Senior and Recreation Centers will remain open. Cost savings in these departments - not funded by the general fund - are currently being explored.

Flint’s 68th District Court will also not be affected by the 12 layoff days and will remain open. In lieu of lay-off days, the 68th District Court is offering $120,000 in wages and salaries to help close the budget gap.

These two measures will save the city just over a half million dollars. “There is much more that we must do to balance the budget. We are hopeful that we will get an agreement with our public safety unions on concessions for a general fund savings of over $2 million dollars,” said Mayor Walling.

Mayor Walling provided details of other cost savings measures that are being put into place to fill the budget hole.

The city is hoping to achieve an approximate $670,000 savings through adjustments to funds other than the General Fund, which would reduce the burden on the general fund for covering those deficits. These measures include:
• Consolidating golf services to one City of Flint course for a savings of $420,000
• Cutbacks in Parks Millage Fund for a savings of $110,000
• Cutbacks in Building Inspections for a savings of $140,000
A number of cost savings measures were approved in December 2009 that will allow the budget to be adjusted downwards by a total of $2.27 million including:
• Spending conservatively, across the board for a $1 million plus savings
• Health care coverage changes (as allowed by contracts with retirees) in the amount of $750,000
• Indirect cost plan changes in the amount of $220,000.
Other costs savings are also being considered. “These are tough times, but I am committed to meeting this challenge. It will not be easy, but it cannot be business as usual here at city hall. We must live within our means and provide the services of government that we can afford,” said Mayor Walling.

The following dates reflect the days Flint City Hall will be closed due to employee layoff days:
Friday, February 5, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Is Neighborhood Action?

Neighborhood Action is about citizens defining Flint’s future and creating a common foundation for economic development, public safety, and other community improvements. Neighborhood Action is designed to allow residents the opportunity to help guide the deployment of limited resources in ways that best meet their needs and desires. It is a citywide initiative that covers every ward and builds on the assets of every area. Phase one is aimed at identifying strategic priorities and discussing assets and challenges. Phase two is centered on turning priorities into projects and assets into action items. Phase three is focused on outlining resources and accountability to ensure the neighborhood plans are implemented.
Neighborhood Action is about partnerships. Joining with Mayor Walling and the City of Flint Department of Community and Economic Development are a number of partners including: 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.

Neighborhood Action Phase One Sessions
The purpose of the first phase was to introduce Neighborhood Action to every ward. Neighborhood Action sessions were held in each of the city’s 9 wards between October 1, 2009 and December 16, 2009 with the active participation of each ward’s councilperson. Plus a session was held with high school students and another with college students. More than 600 residents participated in the process. Every session started with participants introducing themselves and sharing one thing that they are proud of about Flint. Also as part of every session, Mayor Dayne Walling introduced key members of his administration, who provided brief remarks and answered questions.
The core of the sessions was the discussions among the groups of citizens. Residents were asked to rank their needs according to importance. They were given 7 options, including a box for other, ranging from Public Safety to Parks, Trails, and Recreation. Public Safety and Economic Development emerged as the top two concerns of residents the City of Flint.
Next, residents listed assets and challenges in their ward. Neighborhood schools emerged as assets in many of the nine wards. Closed school buildings, as well as empty lots where business once stood, emerged as opportunities for reuse and redevelopment in most of the wards. A lot of interest was expressed in finding more recreational opportunities for the youth. Included on the following pages is a summary of each of the 9 Neighborhood Action Sessions.

Looking Ahead
The data gathered from these Neighborhood Action sessions is being reviewed by the volunteers for the ward work groups. The information will become the foundation of the neighborhood action plans that will be drafted in phase two. During this next phase, a follow-up session will be held in each of the three areas of every ward plus one for downtown. The purpose is to generate ideas to help build on the assets and identify specific action items that will provide solutions to address the ward by ward challenges.

Neighborhood Action Phase II Begins Thursday In The 3rd Ward

Residents of Flint's 3rd Ward will kick off the next phase of Neighborhood Action Sessions. The meeting will be held Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 5:30 at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on East Stewart Avenue.

In this next phase, the city will hold a session in each of the three areas of every ward plus one for downtown. That's correct, 28 meetings across the city between now and the end of March. The purpose is to generate ideas to help build on the assets and identify specific action items that will provide solutions to address the ward by ward challenges. These assets and challenges were identified by third ward residents during Phase I of Neighborhood Action.

The following is data collected from the Phase I Ward 3 session.

Ward 3
The 3rd ward neighborhood action session was held on December 7, 2009 at Berston Field House. More than 40 residents, city staff and facilitators came together to engage in discussion about the direction of the 3rd ward and the City of Flint as a whole.

During the brief introductions everyone was ask to name 1 thing that made them proud in the City of Flint. Many residents in the 3rd ward were proud to be lifelong Flint residents. They were proud of their community’s willingness to stick together during good and bad times. They also echoed the sentiments of residents in wards 1 and 2 by expressing their hopefulness of new opportunities for the city under the leadership of Mayor Walling.

Assets and Opportunities
• Max Brandon Park and Berston Field house emerged as the main assets cited by the 3rd ward residents. They are both viewed as places that provide recreational opportunities, sports and picnic area. Residents also saw an opportunity in Berston Field House to add more outside lighting, senior programs and recreation;
• The one thing 3rd ward residents say their community is missing and so desperately needs is a full service grocery store;
• Residents also want to see Leith Street opened as a way to drive more business development in the area;
• These residents also expressed an interest in the redevelopment of the empty lots for possible community gardens, new housing, or housing for the homeless.
• The churches and the police mini-station were also viewed as assets in the 3rd ward.

Strategic Priorities
The following listed in the order of importance from greatest to least is what 3rd ward residents would like to see city government concentrate its efforts on.
1. Public Safety
2. Economic Development
3. Infrastructure
4. New/Improved Housing Options
5. Human Services (specifically related to senior citizens)
6. Parks, Trails, and Recreation
7. Building and Property Code Enforcement

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hope For Haiti Citywide Gospel Event

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling joined State Representative Woodrow Stanley and others to announce details of Flint's "Hope For Haiti" relief effort. The citywide event will take place Thursday, January 28, 2010 at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint. Musical guests include: Antwan Stanley; Sherwood Pea; Uplifted; and the House Of Prayer Mass Choir among others. The community is asked to come out and support this effort to help the Haitian people during their time of crisis. A goodwill offering will be collected and all proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to aid in their relief efforts in Haiti. The following is video from today's press conference.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mayor Dayne Walling Emcee's 25th Annual Martin Luther King Community Celebration

Mayor Dayne Walling was the emcee for the 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration at the Flint Public Library.

It was an overflow crowd Monday afternoon at the library as people of all races gathered to honor the memory and the legacy of Dr. King.

Flint Native and award winning children's Author Paul Christopher Curtis provided the keynote address.

Flint Southwestern High School Senior Terrance Patton-Hill did a very impressive oration of Dr. King's most famous speech "I Have A Dream."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling In Pittsburgh Discussing Flint's Transformation

In the city of Pittsburgh, PA Mayor Dayne Walling shares his vision for transforming Flint into a 21st Century sustainable city with new jobs, safe neighborhoods and great schools.

Here is the article on Mayor Walling's visit that appeared in today's edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Flint mayor comes to Pittsburgh to discuss plan for Michigan city
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If you think your town has it tough, check out Flint, Mich., where one in four people are unemployed and one-third of the land is vacant.

Those grim numbers don't deter Flint's new mayor, Dayne Walling, who will be in Pittsburgh tonight talking about his efforts to transform the town of 114,000 with an audience that would like to make some of the same ideas work here.

Here's one of the 35-year-old mayor's plans: Use sewage to generate electrical power. Mr. Walling is working with a Swedish company to turn methane from human waste into power that will be coursing through municipal buildings' wires soon, then hopefully those of private businesses.

Here's another: Craft a first-in-decades plan for redeveloping Flint. That's one thing members of Pittsburgh Councilman William Peduto's Guyasuta Fellowship will hear about at 6 p.m. in Council Chamber on the 5th floor of the City-County Building.

"Citizens in Flint know that as mayor, I can't change international trade laws or the national economy," Mr. Walling said yesterday. What he can do is end crisis politics that left past mayors "focused on short-term fixes and managing decline. ... My approach is you need to rebuild a foundation for the future."

Flint's history mirrors Pittsburgh's, without, so far, the semi-happy ending. Big steel's collapse foreshadowed the auto industry's blowout, but Pittsburgh became the most livable city, while Forbes magazine in 2008 ranked Flint as the third most miserable. The Flint region's unemployment rate is more than double that of the Pittsburgh region.

Just as Pittsburgh had two quick mayoral transitions in 2006, ending with Luke Ravenstahl, 29, as mayor, Flint had three mayors last year, with Mr. Walling winning an August election.

"This community came out in a special election and voted me into office, 64 to 36 percent," Mr. Walling said. "There are very high expectations for what my new administration will be able to accomplish."

Flint has been buying around 1,000 vacant homes a year. Mr. Walling held meetings in all nine wards to get thoughts on what to do with that land. Next up: development of 10 action items for each of 28 neighborhoods. Then comes a summit leading to a plan for bringing together federal funds, neighborhood ideas and environmental entrepreneurship.

"We will begin, for the first time in over 30 years, the process of developing a new comprehensive master plan for the city of Flint," he said.

Mr. Peduto met Mr. Walling in September and was impressed by his enthusiasm.

"He speaks confidently about how there is this great opportunity to turn things around for Flint," Mr. Peduto said.

The Guyasuta Fellowship, created by Mr. Peduto but funded privately, includes young people who are studying the economics of environmentalism and community recovery, and who will report to council in the spring. Mr. Walling's presentation is free and open to the public.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Congratulations Mark Ingram, Jr.

Congratulations Mark Ingram, Jr. and the Alabama Crimson Tide football team on your National Championship Victory!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Preliminary Crime Numbers For 2009 Show Small Signs Of Improvement

The preliminary crime numbers for 2009 reflect a decrease in criminal activity in the City of Flint with the exception of murders and larceny. There were a total of 11,430 crimes committed in the city of Flint in 2009 compared to 12,507 crimes committed in 2008. This reflects an 8% decrease in crime from year to year.

Here are the crime statistics for 2009.

Murder up 5.7%
Rape down 8.8%
Robbery down 13.2%
Aggravated Assault down 15.2%
Burglary down 7.5%
Larceny up 0.1%
Motor Vehicle Theft down 19.6%
Arson down 6.1%
Simple Assaults down 10.2%

Mayor Dayne Walling Unviels His Top 10 Priorities For 2010

Top Ten Priorities for Mayor Dayne Walling and the City of Flint for 2010

1. Reduce crime by 10 %
The preliminary crime numbers for 2009 reflect a decrease in criminal activity in the City of Flint with the exception of murders and larceny.
Murders up 5.7%; Larceny up .1%; Rapes down 8.8%; Robbery down 13.2%;
Aggravated assaults down 15.2%; Burglary down 7.5%; Arson down 6.1%;
Motor Vehicle Theft down 19.6%; Simple Assaults down 10.2%
The goal is to decrease all crime in the city by 10% in 2010. We will achieve this through the implementation of community policing reforms and targeted neighborhood sweeps.

2. Decrease number of unemployed residents in the City of Flint
Current unemployment rate for the city stands at 26.8% indicating that more than a quarter of our residents are out of work. Our goal is to create opportunities for job growth and economic development in the community. Our hope is that at least 1 unemployed resident a day will become gainfully employed in 2010.

3. A balanced budget for 2010 and achieve the deficit elimination target of $9.1M

4. Adopt a 2011 budget that is focused on top citizen priorities

5. Spend 100% of the available federal and stimulus funds awarded to the city; these totals are in excess of $10M

6. Negotiate new contracts with all six unions to achieve cost savings and efficiency improvements

7. Through Neighborhood Action Sessions phases II and III we plan to involve 1,000 residents in the creation of neighborhood action plans and use their input for the development of comprehensive master planning for the city.

8. Help ensure a complete census count for the City of Flint
As we work to transform the city into a 21st century sustainable city with new jobs, safe neighborhoods and great schools it is critical that all residents are represented in the 2010 Census Count. This administration will work closely with census officials to get a true count of our residents with a goal of 100,000 residing in the city.

9. Continue our conservation efforts
We will work to integrate compost, recycling, sanitation and waste management to reduce our landfill usage

10. Develop partnerships with local school districts to create initiatives that promote positive youth involvement in the community