Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2010

Vice-President Mike Keeler presided.

Secretary Paul Streby read the minutes of the January 21, 2010 meeting. The minutes were approved.

Sherry gave the treasurer’s report. The general fund balance is $797.23; the beautification fund balance is $665.86. The treasurer’s report was approved.

New neighbors introduced themselves.

Mike reported that Rep. Woodrow Stanley is pushing legislation to grant an extension on the property tax abatement for the University Estates subdivision off N. Saginaw. City Councilman Dale Weighill indicated he was not supportive of the extension, which has to be approved by the City Council. Neighbors expressed concern about favoritism. Mike will find out the status of the legislation.

Raul Garcia reported that Flint will be down to 65 firefighters once layoffs take effect, down from over 200 in 1996. The Flint Fire Department deals with 2.2 fires per day. Average response time is becoming greater, and fires double in size every 30 seconds. Compared to other cities, Flint has few firefighters, stations, and trucks per capita. Large sections of the city will not be able to be reached in under four minutes. There will be three fire stations, with 12-14 firefighters covering the entire city. The ratio of firefighters is already the lowest in the state. The Administration rejected the firefighters’ union proposals for concessions. Arbitration is expected. Jack Minore pointed out our homeowners insurance rates will likely go up.

Doris Sain of the Court Street Village Non-Profit said that her organization pioneered affordable housing management in Michigan. It has refurbished 26 homes, and has an established finance office. Norma Sain, executive director, reported that Richert Manor is perceived as a problem. She met with a representative from the Flint Housing Commission, who told her that there are security cameras inside and out, security guards, and good lighting. It helps to provide specifics about troublesome activities, so bad tenants can be evicted.

Mike and Sherry drafted a proposal for a crime watch, but need leaders to step forward. Alex Harris recapped the history of the Security Court Action Team (SCAT), which folded when dues-paying membership shrank. Before that, Rhina Griffel said that there was a volunteer patrol (South Court Action Team)  for the area south of Court St. Interest in a new crime watch was high. SCAT still has $1600 as possible seed money. Mike and Sherry will arrange a separate meeting in this issue in the next several weeks.

The Neighborhood Action Session for the Seventh Ward brought mixed comments. Some neighbors felt it did not put forth feasible, effective proposals; others found the ideas proposed encouraging. Jack encouraged people to keep porch lights on all night, and to report broken street lights; they are not individually metered, so the City pays for the electricity even when the light is out; people should be specific, e.g. “the northwest corner of A & B.”

Dale Weighill reported that a midyear review indicated an $8M deficit for the current fiscal year. Mayor Dayne Walling announced fire and police layoffs, which the City Council has no authority over. Council members learned of these and the biweekly trash collection through the media. City golf courses are not self-sustaining, but could perhaps be turned around. The Crim Fitness Foundation is taking a survey about parks and other amenities, copies of which Dale distributed. Residents were removed from the group home on Beard St. after a Sheriff’s Department raid; a hearing is scheduled for April. The Prosecutor’s office is intent on bringing charges.

Of the general fund, 60-65% is spent on public safety salaries. The mayor’s office is a relatively small percent of the budget.

Holly Lubowicki reported that Great Lakes Recycling (GLR) on Bristol Rd. between VanSlyke and the expressway is clean and well-maintained. A hazardous waste collection is scheduled for May 15.

Rhina Griffel announced a League of Women Voters anniversary celebration at Luigi’s, as well as several training events.

Jack Minore announced upcoming cleanups of Gilkey Creek and the Flint River Trail and passed signup sheets for volunteers. He brought precinct delegate affidavits, which are due May 11.

Meeting Minutes, January 21, 2010

College Cultural Neighborhood Association

Minutes of the January 21, 2010 Meeting

Officers: President Sherry Hayden * Vice President Mike Keeler * Secretary Paul Streby * Treasurer Cindy Robinson

Vice President Mike Keeler presided.

Secretary Paul Streby read the minutes of the November 19, 2009 meeting, which were approved.

Treasurer Cindy Robinson reported $590.86 in the beautification fund and $1204.09 in the general fund. The treasurer’s report was approved.

State Rep. Lee Gonzales said that battery technology is a growing field, and that General Motors is investing up to $6 billion in battery manufacturing in Michigan, which could create as many as 20,000 jobs. A restaurant and bar smoking ban takes effect on May 1, and legislation is pending to ban texting and driving.

Doug Weiland, executive director of the Genesee Land Bank, spoke about the property-related challenges facing Flint. The City’s population peaked at 196,000 in 1960, and is now between 109,000 and 112,000. We have lost the equivalent of 34,000 households; 32% of property is vacant or abandoned. The Land Bank owned 1500 structures and lots, and plans to acquire more. It would cost $50 million to demolish all dilapidated buildings. Demolition can greatly improve the value of nearby structures, and prevent blight from spreading. Funding for $25 million is going towards demolition and rehabilitation, but must follow HUD regulations. Although Flint has been hit hard, the outcounty has, also, as have all levels of government. The Land Bank is spending federal stimulus money for weed and trash abatement, including on lots owned by others. It works with neighborhood groups to clear lots in the Clean & Green program. Community gardens are often donated to worthy organizations. Doug suggested working with the Genesee County Landlords Association to deal with bad landlords. Information can be searched on

Sgt. Nicholson of the Mott Public Safety Department reminded neighbors that Mott does community policing within a one-mile radius. He introduced Ofr. Eric Young, who is stationed at the Mott facility near Kearsley Park. He or Ofr. Tim Murley will be there from 2 p.m. to 12:30 every day. Mott Public Safety’s phone is 762-0222. Neighbors are encouraged to store this on their cell phones.

Seventh Ward City Councilman Dale Weighill reported that he has proposed getting 100 parking meters out of storage for downtown. The meters were removed because of thefts, but better locks can prevent this. The meters, Rutherford parking structure, and parking fines could generate $3000 in revenue each week. The City Council has diverted $200,000 for code enforcement, which had been lacking. Two houses in the neighborhood have suffered fire damage, one on Greenfield, on on Vernon near Court. Dale indicated that blight is a top priority for him. The City is facing another deficit of $5-7M. Property tax revenue and revenue sharing are both down. The mayor is asking the Police and Fire Departments to accept pay cuts, and other departments to accept furlough days.

City Councilman Josh Freeman said that eliminating the ombudsman’s office could save $225,000 per year.

Sherry Hayden announced an upcoming Keep Genesee County Beautiful conference funded by the Ruth Mott Foundation. The CCNA voted to authorize the beautification committee to seek a grant. Neighborhood Action Sessions are coming up, and our input is important.

Terry Bankert announced that he is sponsoring a workshop on social media, and invited neighbors to attend a planning session at his law office. It would help raise the level of discourse in the community if mature adults posted comments on

Respectfully submitted by Paul Streby.