Flint's mayor is taking an optimistic and aggressive stance on the city's future. In his fifth annual State of the City address, Mayor Dayne Walling says we're just months away from local government control of The Vehicle City.
The mayor says seven key goals need to be achieved before the governor's office allows city council and the mayor to resume local government control. Walling says three goals have been achieved so far but it's going to take a lot of work to achieve the remaining four.
It was a packed house inside city council chambers where Mayor Walling delivered the speech Monday afternoon.
The mayor says that's a good indication of the city being ready to emerge out of receivership.
Walling says there are $1 billion in investments coming to Flint and that includes General Motorsâ?? new paint plant, a new health facility with Michigan State University and the K.W.A. pipeline project.
But the mayor says Flint can no longer depend solely on businesses to move forward.
Heâ??s urging neighbors to serve their city with community service opportunities.
The mayor also declared war on blight saying he needs an army of volunteers to help clean up the city.
Walling says it's an ambitious plan but it's the only way to lead the city back to home rule.
â??A number of those items are going to get done in the next three months so, with council's support, the strategic plan, 5 years financial forecast, 2 year budget. That's three of the items the Blue Ribbon committee is working on,â?? says Walling. â??There is work to get an agreement around the retiree health care savings, the state needs to approve the deficit elimination plan, we are talking months now,â?? adds Walling.
One of the mayor's main themes is community service. A â??Citizen Action Fairâ?? was held in the main lobby after the speech.
Walling says he hopes to have more fairs like this to increase community engagement.