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Topic: Does Truth against the machine reveal Land Bank scandal

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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

EXCLUSIVE: Flint Official Says Water Crisis Caused By ‘Ni**ers Not Paying Their Bills’1
By Carly Hammond - June 4, 2017268156



A local Flint official with the controversial Genesee County Land Bank suggested that the root causes of the Flint water crisis were that black people don’t pay their bills, audio recordings obtained by Truth Against The Machine reveal.

“Flint has the same problems as Detroit—very ni**ers don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them,” Phil Stair8, sales manager for the Genesee County Land Bank said on May 26th during a conversation with Truth Against the Machine reporter and environmental activist Chelsea Lyons in Flint.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: The full 20-minute audio of Stair’s is at the bottom of this story]

He was driving to a restaurant with Lyons and another individual, who he’d met that night, when he made the comments, which were recorded and later obtained by TATM.

Stair did go on to try and clarify: “I don’t want to call them ni**ers, shit I just went to Myrtle Beach, 24 guys, and I was the only white guy; I got friends, I mean, there’s trash and there’s people that do this shit. They just don’t pay their bills. Well, Detroit, didn’t collect on their bills, so they charged everybody else, but- Flint- Flint had to pay their bill to Detroit.”

Stair, a government employee through the Land Bank, which, according to its website, is a “non-profit government organization,” went on to explain to the activists his theory on the water crisis—one that’s been parroted by Governor Snyder and many other state and local officials.

“Detroit was charging all its customers for the cost—they weren’t collecting from their residents, they were shutting water off, they were letting bills go forever, they were charging everybody else; Flint has the same problems as Detroit—very ni**ers don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them.”

Flint, which is 56 percent African American, was forced to switch to the toxic Flint River because of Detroit’s price hikes, according to Stair.

“Now, they need a 3-year extension on their contract to get on the new pipeline [Karegnondi Water Authority] they’re building to Flint. Detroit said no, we want a 20-year agreement. Flint said no we’re building the new system or what1ever, and they jacked em, they jacked the price up and they [Flint] couldn’t afford to pay it, so they said, well, we gotta go back to what we did in 1978.”

He continued: “They [Flint] had a water plant, we’ll take the [water] out of the Flint River and the reservoirs—there’s two reservoirs upstream—and we’ll just treat the water, because they had to maintain that plant because Detroit was supposed to have a second source- unless you have a backup you gotta- they had to maintain their plants. So they used to maintain their water plant, they treated their water, tested it, said it was good, and they’d dump it back in the river, because they couldn’t mix it with the Detroit water.”

Stair’s version of events doesn’t match previous records and reporting, which show Flint’s decision to switch off of Detroit’s water system—made by the unelected Emergency Manager appointed by Governor Rick Snyder—was not about saving money in the face of Detroit price-gouging.

Emails from before the 2014 water switch showed Detroit’s water and sewage department bending over backwards to retain Flint as a customer; after all, Flint was DWAS’s biggest customer other than the city of Detroit.

[BEAT THE PRESS: DONATE TO TATM SO WE CAN PAY OUR FEARLESS JOURNALISTS AND EDITORS TO CONTINUE THEIR PURSUIT OF EXPOSING THE OLIGARCHY.]

In an email dated April 15, 2013, Sue McCormick, DWAS’s Director, offers Flint a 48 percent rate cut immediately, which compared to the KWA over a 30-year- period, would be 20 percent cheaper for Flint.

Flint’s elected officials also own a large share of the blame for the water crisis. Beginning in 2007, the city habitually overspent and underestimated their budget deficits. In a 2011 audit of Flint by the state of Michigan, it was revealed that the city had pulled millions from the water and sewage funds, transferring the money from the at-that-time solvent water fund to make up for an insolvent general fund. More importantly, the city also had increased water and sewage rates 35 percent in 2011—to make up for their own spending shenanigans.

Four years later, Genesee county circuit court Judge Hayman found that the transferring of funds and subsequent price hikes was illegal; he also declared the tax foreclosures many residents experienced—because they couldn’t afford the price-gouged rates— to be illegal. The city was ordered to issue a refund for the 35 percent hike, but, in reality, the credits applied to water and sewer bills didn’t fully make up for the rate hike, and the overall water and sewer rates continued to increase. Detroit Free Press found that Flint residents paid the highest water rates in America in a 2015 study.1

So, Stair’s version of events, which points to Detroit’s unyielding price hikes as the catalyst for Flint deciding to temporarily switch to the Flint River while KWA being built, doesn’t match reality.

He later doubles down on the type of people he feels have caused the blight in Flint.

As his conversation with the environmental activists continued, they asked him to elaborate: “Is the east side [of Flint] the bad side?”
“Yeah,” Stairs begins.

STAIR: “Well, I call the south side, where we were, that’s the new east side cause we [land bank] tore most of it down; all them derelict motherfuckers have moved down to the south side. They’re destroying that.”


LYONS: “Who is?”

STAIR: “Fuckin’ deadbeats who, when they tear the houses down, they gotta go somewhere, they go on the south side. It just shifts- it just shifts the shit. The people are still the people, they fucked the houses up, then they leave and when we tear em down, they just go somewhere else and just vulgar language those houses up. I bought my house for $23,000 dollars in 1981, and they sold that house right there for $4,000 dollars about four years ago. So, 30 years it didn’t… but… it doesn’t owe me anything.”

LYONS: “So, like, did this used to be, like, a white neighborhood?”

STAIR: “It’s still white. Well, this street isn’t so much, but overall, it’s still pretty white” (editor’s note—as stated earlier, Flint is 56 percent African American).

This kind of raw opinion on, as Stair puts it, the “derelicts and deadbeats” residing in Flint, is disturbing considering, as sales manager, he and his colleagues at the Land Bank are supposed to be guiding the residents of Flint to economic recovery in order to “restore value to the community,” as stated on the Land Bank’s website.

Stair didn’t hold back on elected officials, blaming Michigan Governor Snyder for not doing enough to prevent the crisis.

“It was really a failure on the part of the Governor to step in,” he said. “So when Detroit jacked em [Flint], the Governor should’ve stepped in and said ‘you bankrupt city,” cause they were under negotiations; Detroit filed bankruptcy, you’re not going to jack a city like Flint; and you’re gonna, we’ll give give you a little increase, but you’re going to extend their contract. He didn’t step in so, what they do? They [Flint] had to go with the other thing [KWA] and they fucked it up. It’s just a total vulgar language-up. The Governor should have said, no, you’re going to give an extension for 3 years, and you’ll get a little increase from what you’ve been getting, and nothing would’ve happened. Now they’re afraid to get on the new pipeline because they don’t want to mess with the water again.”

On this part, Stair is both correct and misinformed. Detroit was indeed raising its water prices to Flint. But one of the driving reasons has barely been reported.

As Jacobin Magazine reported, Detroit, like other cities, got burned by betting their taxpayers’ money as the subprime mortgage house of cards was about to fall.

The water crisis in Michigan is also intertwined with the subprime mortgage meltdown, which is closely related to financial deregulation. In 2005–7, Detroit had the highest rate of subprime mortgage foreclosures in the United States. While increasingly deregulated banks were aggressively marketing adjustable-rate subprime mortgages to working-class African Americans in Detroit, they were also selling risky financial instruments to the city government. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 allowed the swaps market to metastasize from $180 billion in 1998 to $6 trillion in 2004 to $57 trillion by the summer of 2008.

In 2005, during this “wild west” period for predatory lenders, Detroit entered into a $1.4 billion dollar deal with UBS AG and Merrill Lynch Capital Services (later acquired by Bank of America). The deal included two layers of speculative financial instruments, one of which was an “interest rate swap” to fund DWSD. The swap deal constituted a bet that interest rates would rise. After interest rates plummeted as a result of the 2008 crash, DWSD was forced to pay $537 million in swap termination payments to banks.

In order to pay the termination fees, DWSD increased water rates, and took out $489 million in further bond debt in 2012. That year, Bloomberg reported that “debt service has climbed to more than 40 percent of revenue” at DWSD. As a result, nearly half of Detroiters’ water payments were going to pay debt service to banks, inflated by the banks’ predatory swap deal. In April 2013, ongoing DWSD rate increases provided a public rationale for Flint’s emergency manager, Ed Kurtz, to switch from DWSD to the Flint River, although the actual reasons remain murky.

So, as you can see, it was more of a city-government-recklessly-placing-bets-with-other people’s-money kind of thing—and then price gouging its residents when they lost the bet—than a “ni**ers” don’t pay their bills” kind of thing.

But he’s correct in that Snyder should have stepped in to stop Flint from switching off of Detroit’s water system; he knew Detroit had offered to cut its rate nearly in half; he knew the Flint River had a legacy for being a toxic water body that plants like GM dump toxic waste in; he knew the water treatment plant in Flint was not updated or up to the standards needed to treat Flint River water; and he knew the EPA had warned the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality that, upon switching to the Flint River, not adding anti-corrosives to the lead pipes would cause lead to dislodge into the drinking water.

But alas, when your goal as Governor is to push privatization and fracking—which the KWA checks both boxes—you look the other way.

The Genesee County Land Bank was founded by Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI 5th), who was the Genesee County Treasurer at the time. In fact, Stair claims he was personally hired by Kildee as the first Land Bank employee.

“I was the first employee they hired…he’s a congressman now, but he was the county treasurer,” he said.

“Who?” inquires an activist. “Dan Kildee,” clarifies Stair.


Stair also told the activists how the Genesee County Land Bank—which many Flint residents refer to as the Genesee County “Land Grab”—operates.

“Well they [residents] don’t pay their bills [water]. Because they [the city] don’t shut it off, so if they don’t shut it off, they just keep using the water; they [the city] lien it on their taxes, then they don’t pay their taxes, it gets wiped out, the house forecloses, the Landbank and the treasurer gets the house, and if it doesn’t get sold at auction, Land Bank gets the house, so we get 200 occupied houses a year, [Inaudible].”

“I mean it’s poverty, it’s poverty, you can’t fix poverty,” he said. Stair is incorrect when he says “they don’t shut it off”: thousands of residents have received water shut off notices in recent months—for poisoned water.

Only after residents continue to not pay for the undrinkable water is the water shut off, followed by a threat of a tax lien on a resident’s property. Recently, 8,000 residents received tax lien threats for unpaid poison water bills. The Flint City Council voted 8-1 to place a one-year moratorium on the tax liens; on June 14th, the Snyder-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board—essentially a shadow government that can overrule Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and City Council Members—will meet and vote whether to ratify the City Council’s vote.

In a later encounter, Stair doubles down on who he feels is to blame for the crisis.

“Long story short, Detroit was supposed to supply a second line that came up like through Troy to Flint as a backup because there was just a single line. Because there was just the one pipeline, Flint had to maintain their water treatment plant all the years that they had it. So, when Detroit wanted to jack em on the price because their contract ran out and they just wanted three years until the new pipeline, they said no. Flint couldn’t pay for it.”


As shown earlier, this is untrue—Detroit had offered a nearly 50 percent price reduction immediately to Flint.

“The governor should’ve stepped in and told broke-ass Detroit: you’re not gonna jack broke-ass Flint,” Stair continued. “You’re gonna give them the water, we’ll give you a little increase, and give them their time, don’t vulgar language with em, don’t do a- didn’t happened.”

When asked about why the state hasn’t done anything to help the Flint residents living in crisis, Stair responded

“They have. Oh, millions of dollars are coming here. Millions…to fix the vulgar language-up. If he would’ve just told Detroit: give them the water… nothing would’ve changed.”

“Now they gotta do the pipes and everything, it’s such a clusterfuck.”

As far as the “millions of dollars” coming to Flint, yes, there are grants on top of promises on top of lawsuits that all assured millions of dollars were coming to Flint. However, at every junction down the line, those millions of dollars got redirected and appropriated to other purposes. The most relevant number that demonstrates the funding going to help Flint: since the beginning of the crisis more than three years ago, fewer than 800 lead pipes—of the estimated 20,000 that are slated for removal—have been replaced in the city.

Corruption in Flint runs deep; as do the racist undertones of its officials. Government officials, both elected and appointed, have a habit of blaming Flint’s problems on the poorest and most vulnerable. In reality, the families trying to get by in a dilapidated city suffer through rate hikes, water shutoffs and tax liens while the taxpayer-funded employees get raise after raise after raise.

On Tuesday, Part two of this story will publish, consisting of other damning audio from Stair regarding certain illegal substances being used at government offices in Flint and other water-crisis-related audio from Stair.

BEAT THE PRESS: DONATE TO TATM SO WE CAN PAY THESE FEARLESS JOURNALISTS AND EDITORS TO CONTINUE THEIR PURSUIT OF EXPOSING THE OLIGARCHY.

UPDATE June 4th, 9:15pm eastern:

In response to Truth Against The Machine’s exclusive, U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI 5th) tweeted:

Follow
Rep. Dan Kildee ✔ @RepDanKildee
This behavior is awful and indefensible. Phil Stair should be fired or resign immediately. https://twitter.com/JordanChariton/status/871490695554641920
7:47 PM - 4 Jun 2017


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:38 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

EXCLUSIVE: Flint Official Says Water Crisis Caused By ‘Ni**ers Not Paying Their Bills’ - Truth Against the Machine
A local Flint official with the controversial Genesee County Land Bank suggested that the root causes of the Flint water crisis were that black people don’t pay their bills, audio recordings obtained by Truth Against The Machine reveal. “Flint has the same problems as Detroit—very ni**ers don’t p...
truthagainstthemachine.com
on Sunday · 8,727 shares

Flint Official Who Blamed "Ni**ers Not Paying Their Bills" for Water Crisis Resigns - Truth Against the Machine
Phil Stair, the sales manager for Genesee County Land Bank who was caught on tape blaming “ni**ers not paying their bills” for the Flint water crisis, has resigned, Truth Against The Machine has learned. Michele Waldman, who is executive director for the Land Bank, announced his resignation on Monda...
truthagainstthemachine.com
on Monday · 110 shares

Flint Official Reveals Land Bank Drug Use, Calls Flint State's 'Enema' - Truth Against the Machine
Phil Stair, the now-former Genesee County Land Bank sales manager who TATM exclusively reported blamed “”n**gers not paying their bills” for the Flint water crisis, also revealed widespread marijuana use at the Land Bank among employees. STAIR: They come In the office… I’m going- man, they supposed…
truthagainstthemachine.com
15 hours ago · 121 shares
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:43 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Truth against the machine is on Facebook and the audioscan be heard there.
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:44 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

EXCLUSIVE: Flint Official Reveals Land Bank Drug Use, Calls Flint State’s ‘Enema’
By Carly Hammond - June 6, 20174145
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Phil Stair, the now-former Genesee County Land Bank sales manager who TATM exclusively reported blamed “”n**gers not paying their bills” for the Flint water crisis, also revealed widespread marijuana use at the Land Bank among employees.

In audio recorded by Truth Against The Machine reporter Chelsea Lyons, Stair casually discusses marijuana sales and usage at the Genesee County Land Bank.

“They come in the office…I’m going-man, they supposed to do that?” Stair said to an unidentified man. The man went on to say, “I was in there [the Land Bank]… I’m in there like 3 days, 4 days out of the month to pay for my shit, it always smells like weed.”

In response, Stair goes on to suggest the Land Bank is a place where people casually consume and sell marijuana.

“Oh yeah, they come in, you should see, they all go- they gotta code for the weed,” he said. Lyons responded by asking “where,” to which the unidentified male responded: “at the Land Bank!”

Regardless of one’s position on marijuana, it’s not legal to use recreationally or sell in the state of Michigan, so Stair’s casual reference of marijuana sales and usage at the Land Bank office could potentially cause legal headaches for both he and the Land Bank, whom did not respond to TATM’s request for comment.

Note: Audio clips in this excerpt are cut on the basis of relevance, ease of listening, and to protect anonymous sources’ identity. Full-length clips are available and will be provided on request to inquiring news sources.


His admission on tape of engaging in illegal acts in the workplace is also interesting in light of previous comments he made regarding many parts of Flint being populated with “derelict motherfuckers and deadbeats.”

Questionable Land Bank Deal

Stair also divulged what is perhaps the most far-reaching revelation yet regarding the Land Bank, which he claimed owns 25 percent of Flint.

In this excerpt, Stair reveals an international corporation bullied the Land Bank, a non-profit government organization, into accepting a deal.

MALE 1: This company called- what is it, you said…
STAIR: C3?
MALE 1: C3?
[Inaudible]
STAIR: But we had, uh, an old Kmart up on Beecher, and they wanted that, and they gave us a low-ball price, and then they said… they said to us, uh… They came in- They said, they said to us, ‘well, if you don’t give us that price, you know, we’re lookin’ other places, so we’re gonna vulgar language up the Flint deal,’ they whipsaw us. If we don’t kowtow to ‘em and give a low price on this building, they might not do the Flint deal. So now we’d be the ones they blame, they’re lookin’ for [inaudible]… I called the motherfucker, I said… Then I was like, if they didn’t do the Flint deal, what do you mean? They’d blame us. So all of a sudden the Land Bank would be the ones who fucked up the Flint deal.


The company that Stair is referring to, C3, is a China-based auto-manufacturing company that promised to bring hundreds of jobs into Flint. Dozens of press releases flooded the local media, as Flint officials wanted to show off a positive “Flint deal.” As Stair points out, the PR flood painted the Land Bank into a corner—and C3 ultimately used the positive press against them to pressure a deal that shorted the taxpayers.

C3 was propped up publicly by then-Mayor Dayne Walling, as well as Governor Snyder. In fact, the company received millions in (taxpayer) loans through the State of Michigan for promising to employ Flint residents. Snyder personally made a glowing statement about the job prospects. In actuality, C3 ended up hiring only 12 Flint locals—far from the hundreds estimated.

The rest of this excerpt is further revealing:

MALE 1: So it wasn’t you, it was the people on the board of the Land Bank who said-
STAIR: No, no, no, no, I’m the sales- I’m the guy
MALE 1: So you’re the guy who said-
STAIR: My boss. My boss said to me
MALE 1: Who’s your boss?
STAIR: Well he’s retired, and now I got a new boss. But at the time, he just said ‘do it’-
MALE 1: What’s his name?
STAIR: His name was Doug Weiland. But, they- they, like- it wasn’t a real fair negotiation
MALE 1: Why, they like, pushed him down, or what?
STAIR: No
MALE 1: They put a gun to his head?
STAIR: No… How would it look if Flint was touting this big deal; they’re gonna buy this place, but they wanted this, they said, if you don’t give us this at a low price outside here, we might not do this deal, then they’ll blame us.
MALE 1: You know what I would’ve said?
STAIR: I would’ve told em to get fucked
MALE 1: Well you know what I would’ve said? What’s the environmental impact?
STAIR: It’s all Kmart, there ain’t nothing wrong with it. Actually, we did environmentals. There used to be a gas station way down the road. Gas stations aren’t that big a deal, cause oil floats. vulgar language it’s, it’s, it isn’t an environmental impact. It’s the Kmart up by Saginaw and 475, and Beecher.

Aside from the carefree dismissal of the environmental impact of oil, Stair reveals how a corporation successfully coerced the Genesee County Land Bank to grant them an advantageous deal, which begs further examination of other deals the government bank has made.

This also lends support to residents’ criticism that points to the Land Bank as a not-so-subtle gentrification scheme; an effort to drive poor people out of the area to build high-rises, higher-priced commercial businesses, and golf courses, effectively turning Flint into a rich college town. The majority of residents TATM has talked to on the ground feel this way—and struggle to pay the highest water bills in the country while waiting for the State of Michigan to distribute the federal grant allotted to them.

Interestingly, while there’s been delays in distributing federal relief money to Flint, the state has had no delays in footing the bill for downtown “redevelopment.”

Stair confirms Flint residents’ worst fears about the Genesee County Land Bank: back-room deals are made with political purposes in mind that ultimately benefit corporations instead of low-income residents.

In TATM’s original exclusive report, drawn from audio clips of Stair making discriminatory comments while discussing the Land Bank’s operations with Lyons, Stair describes the government bank—created in 2002 by now Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI 5th) as an entity driving “derelicts and deadbeats” out of Flint.

Within three hours, Kildee released a statement on Twitter condemning the comments made by Stair and calling for his resignation.

Follow
Rep. Dan Kildee ✔ @RepDanKildee
This behavior is awful and indefensible. Phil Stair should be fired or resign immediately. https://twitter.com/JordanChariton/status/871490695554641920
7:47 PM - 4 Jun 2017

Within 13 hours, the Genesee County Commissioners made a statement during a board meeting that Stair had officially resigned. From conversations with TATM’s Lyons, we obtained over six hours of raw audio featuring Stair. One of the more alarming things he said regarding public health was the dangerous condition of Flint water TODAY—something that state and local officials have tried to downplay.

Stagnant Water: “A Quality Thing”

“And there’s another problem with the Flint pipes,” Stair said.

“They had five major General Motors plants that each used almost as much as the residential used, and there’s only one [plant] left. And it’s not on the Flint water system anymore, because the water was fucked up. So, the pipes are built to deliver water to 200,000 people plus 5 General Motors plants; now there’s less than 100,000 people and one plant, so now the water pipes are over-sized for the users; slow-moving water goes bad, so there’s other issues, so that means they gotta put more chlorine in and other shit… it’s a quality thing.”

Water quality is still a major issue for Flint residents. It’s widely reported that 12 deaths in Flint from Legionnaire’s Disease were directly connected to the water crisis. The Flint public—which consists of many residents who’ve had bacteria found in their home water through independent testing—have been demanding proper testing for bacteria since the beginning of the water crisis. I

In response, state, city, and EPA officials have largely ignored the bacteria concerns—the same forces that ignored mass residential complaints of contaminated water from April, 2014 to October, 2015.

Instead, EPA and MDEQ ‘s response has been, in large part, a plethora of pamphlets, mailed out to residents claiming that it is safe for residents to drink water through a filter and also bathe and shower in the water.

Despite corporate media choosing to ignore Flint for the last two years, independent media reporting has shown the water is not as safe as these agencies claim—they mostly test home sink water on cold and don’t test shower water, home water heaters, or water at the meter as it enters the home.

Which is why it’s so concerning that the RTAB, a quasi-shadow government oversight committee appointed by Governor Snyder to rule over Mayor Karen Weaver and the City Council, would institute a policy of issuing property tax liens against homes whose inhabitants haven’t paid their still-undrinkable water bill. The Flint City Council, pressured by negative national press, voted recently to place a moratorium on the liens. However, on June 14th, the RTAB gets the final say- over the heads, consent, and oversight of the leaders elected by Flint citizens.

Stair introduces himself as an integral employee at the Land Bank to Lyons and two other Flint residents who wish to remain anonymous. During their conversation, he discusses how much business he is doing a year.


MALE 1: This guy’s like a big shot at the land bank.
STAIR: It’s the land bank. Tax foreclosed stuff. Did you ever read about Detroit and the land bank and all that stuff? Well, Flint was the first land bank. (Editor’s note: Incorrect- first land bank was created in St. Louis in 1971). Half the people left Flint. And when they walked away, the properties foreclose for taxes, cause nobody paid the taxes. I sell those properties…Yeah, I sell 4 million dollars worth [a year]… we own 25% of the city of Flint. Half the people left! [Inaudible]
LYONS: You own 25% of Flint?
STAIR: Well, who I work for does.

We can’t confirm Stair’s comments regarding 25 percent ownership: many residents TATM has spoken to argue the percentage is much higher.

But, Stair’s derogatory view on Flint continued in other parts of the audio, putting into question what his colleagues’ at the Land Bank’s views of the city they claim to “restore value” for are.

STAIR: Move to Flint, the garden spot of the state….I always said, if you’re going to give Michigan an enema, you stick it in Flint.
MALE 1: Asshole of the world?
STAIR: Yeah.


It’s difficult to ascertain how the Genesee County Land Bank can keep their mission of “restoring value to the community” while its sales manager “always said” and thought of Flint as an “asshole,” filled with “derelicts” and “deadbeats.”

In fact, Stair made this “enema” comment twice: Chelsea Lyons met with Stair two separate nights, and he reaffirmed this remark at their second meeting.

Stair also marginalizes the poorest areas of Flint by throwing around jokes about arson.

STAIR: If you own a house, and you live in a house you own, and we tear a house down next door-
MALE 1: Come on, Phil- it burns down, it burns down.
STAIR: Well, not always burns… that’s only if you’re on the East Side.


Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI 5th) gave no response to an inquiry asking if he supports a full audit of the Genesee County Land Bank, which he began when he was County Treasurer, and has since heralded as a great success.



In Stair’s resignation letter, he references he regrets his “private opinion”- but as Shaun King points out in his coverage of Stair’s comments, it’s hard to believe that this is the first time Stair spoke his beliefs aloud.

It’s hard to believe that his co-workers never heard his true opinions.

It’s hard to believe that someone who has worked at the Land Bank since the beginning who has held these sentiments hasn’t made work-related decisions based on them.

And, since he only just resigned after the release of TATM’s article, it’s hard to believe that his opinions were greeted at the Land Bank office with the same outrage that Flint residents have expressed since the article’s release.

In the coming days, TATM will release part 3 of our series revolving around Stair’s comments.
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:51 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Under Weiland, there were problems with the Land bank. During a 5th Ward election, Land bank employee Raynetta Speed intruded on a community block club meeting and told the group they were going to listen to the candidate she was endorsing.

Admittedly my friend and I went to a Land bank advisory meeting and not the Land bank Board meeting. All Weiland could say was that he needed Raynetta. Rumors were the land bank under Weiland was a Democrat campaign machine. Democrats supported him in his jobs. Later it was leaked that allegedly Land Bank attorney Goodstein advised Speed to discontinue her political activities. You can't brag about being a Land bank employee 24/7 at a community meeting and then claim you have a right to be political.

The land bank hired Walling for their institute. While some good reports came out of there, I never saw one for Walling.
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:01 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The Land bank automatically saves some property for Kettering. When Omar Sims served on the Genesee county Commissioners Board he wanted to deny a young homeowner the lot next to his home in favor of selling it to Kettering. I will never forget his words: "Institutions before individuals". Kettering was more sensitive and declined to buy in front of the individual.
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:05 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The photos show the interview took place i a bar and let's face it druks don't always get it right.

The Beecher (Mt morris Township site ) was for use as a warehouse and according to Mt Morris Township Supervisor Larry green it was expected to employ 20 people. After so many years of vacancy, graffiti and vandalism, they were excited to see it cleaned up.

The factory for C3 is in the Flint Industrial Park on 1809 James P. Cole Blvd. The company is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the project which started nearly a year ago was estimated to run $9.68 million on the 17.68 acre site.

The company is set to return jobs from China and recycle plastics into Tesla parts. When startup is completed and the plant is fully operational the plant expects to employ 400 people.



New auto supply project eyes former Beecher Kmart for warehouse
C3 Ventures, a company that aims to bring 380 jobs to Flint, is in the works of purchasing an old Kmart building in Beecher.
MLIVE.COM|BY MLIVE.COM


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:50 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The Land Bank is not perfect, but then any organization run by politicians is not. The Genesee Land Bank became a model for other Land Banks . Certainly the foreclosure procedure before it was worse.

No one saw the housing and banking disaster of 2007 and beyond. Much of the problem in Flint is the size of the infrastructure and the unwillingness to downsize it temporarily .

I have driven neighborhoods in the area east of Pierson School that looked more like a backwater area in the country. Trees with drooping branches so low they hit the top of my SUV and vines and heavy underbrush .Dark and dangerous looking areas before they open up to urban prairies. Streets along M. L. King near White Street and others might have only one home on them and hollowed out ground that looks like a swamp with fallen trees and brush.

Flint is broken. I saw a study from about 1999 that indicated the past Master Plan that was, in theory, to un-segregate Flint was a failure as Flint was still the third most segregated city in the state.
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:08 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Maybe a plan to create a Black business district isn't so far fetched. The Downtown power structure doesn't seem too willing to share in the prosperity they are striving for downtown. So maybe developing along Pierson Road and southward of there is the answer. The map of the Hardest Hit program indicates the Flint park area will have more demolitions on top of the clearance that has already happened. This would be a prime development area for housing.

The only drawback that I see is the four storm sewers that flow into the lake and creates unfavorable conditions for fishing and recreation. The creation of wetlands and dredging is recommended. It is advised to be careful eating the fish at this time.

Patrick Ryals and others had a strong CDC there and it appears the group might still be intact although the emergency managers did their best to break them.
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:17 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

From what I have read in various articles, the black entrepreneurial spirit in numerous communities was devastated by the practice of urban development and placing interstate highways through cohesive black neighborhoods. These neighborhoods thrived because they spent their money in the neighborhood and allowed the growth of small businesses and in some instances wealth.

That is what I hear being proposed and it makes sense. This country has more than one thriving and successful black business districts. Maybe they can grow again.
Post Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:25 pm 
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