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Topic: Flint council, mayor battles and Kate Fields
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Remember when Council had their pay cut and they restored it at the first meeting they were allowed to? It took the Attorney General to confront them. However after a time several council members had their debts forgiven although they never paid them off.

Now council has restored their health care although the majority of council already has health coverage. If I remember correctly, that means the council will get a $15,000 cash payment in lieu of health coverage.

I am sure they are targeting Sylvester Jones as he constantly challenges their errors in logic. The previous council actually went through the line items to eliminate those they wanted gone!


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:57 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:14 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

NEW DEVELOPMENTS COME IN COUNCIL BUDGET BATTLE

GENESEE COUNTY JUDGE HAS STINGING CRITICISM FOR FLINT'S MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL

Tuesday Judge 24, 2008

Gabe Guttierrez Channel 12

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT)

The judge ruled both sides must try for another compromise by Wednesday.

But he couldn't seem to hide his frustration.

Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercutt called Monday's hearing a civics lesson .

"Until now, the City Council has never understood that they do not run City Hall. They write the laws and they finalize the budget. But they do not run the City hall," he said.

"And on the flip side, our mayor does run City Hall, but has never figured out he does not finalize the budget."

Last week, the mayor sued council. His attorney, George Hamo, claims council violated the city's charter by slashing five city departments so badly they can't function.

The reality is, council people have to put aside any personal feelings they may have and sit down and agree on a compromise budget." Hamo said.

Mayor Don Williamson's proposal included more police and fire cuts.

"We're $9 million in debt and he's proposed the budget that wants to continue spending and the city council says no", said Councilman Scott Kincaid.

But the city is essentially fighting itself, and taxpayers are spending $285 an hour in legal fees to do it.

"No one's being hurt but the residents of this community", said Council President Carolyn Sims.

Neithercut said council seems to have correctly followed the charter's budget procedure. But he won't rule on whether certain departments are adequately funded yet.

"My question to you and to the rest is: What do you want this body to do? Sims said.

Neithercutt is ordering the city's budget director to resubmit a new proposal by noon Wednesday.
Post Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:38 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

During the Williamson administration, Kincaid also took the offices of the city attorney for use of new council offices. He laughed about putting then City Attorney Trachelle Young into the Mayor's office. Young won and the office received adequate funding and new legal offices.

This council continues to fight the Mayor on everything. It is no wonder resident's are calling for a purge of all of the council members in the next election.

Remember that some of these council were behind the decision to give Kate Field's newly formed energy company the Department of Energy grant that was pulled after an Office of Inspector General investigation and 4 whistleblower lawsuits.
Post Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:44 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

I have been reviewing materials regarding allegations of public corruption from the 1960's. I found a remarkably provocative Flint Journal editorial from April 12, 1970 that could easily apply to the issues with today's council.

Entitled "New Leadership Needed to Guide flint", the editorial focused on the council's character flaws that impeded the exercise of good governing for the City of Flint.

1) There was an emphasis on "the constant sacrificing of the public good on the altar of personal politics" There was a discussion of how council had plotted an "abortive effort" to oust the then City manager Thomas kay. The Journal noted the motivation for this attempt was based on "personal animosities and not the welfare of the city"


2) A second discussion revolved around activities that risked anti-poverty funding from the federal government due to a lack of leadership.
Post Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:00 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Topic: Mayor, council go at it over law department funds

Steve Myers

The City Council. The mayor. More harsh words, and threats of litigation. Surprised?

But that's what came out of a Wednesday special meeting in which the council voted 6-2 to provide an additional $237,800 for the Law Department, about $570,000 less than Mayor Don Williamson wanted.

The decision prompted a barrage of name-calling from the mayor.

"As I look at this council here, I see three sets of Three Stooges," Williamson said. "The real bright side to this whole thing is this year at Thanksgiving, we'll be able to give thanks like our forefathers on Thanksgiving because these idiots will be gone."

The mayor forced Wednesday's special meeting last week when he declared an emergency over law department funding. City officials said cutbacks the council approved in June forced the layoff of nearly the entire department, a move that's resulting in the dismissal of numerous cases at Flint District Court, although they could be refiled at a later date.

But a majority of council members says there is no emergency, just scare tactics employed by Williamson and City Attorney Trachelle Young who refuse to use money now available because they don't like the idea of coming back to the council for more funding later in the year.

"It's an egregious twisting of the facts," said 6th Ward Councilman Mark A. Horrigan, who added the meeting was a "concocted" ""scheme to embarrass the council."

Full Story:
http://www.mlive.com/news/fljournal/index.ssf?/base/news-30/1121959896131280.xml&coll=5
Post Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:54 pm
Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:47 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Judge Neithercutt once served as a Flint City Councilman before he became a Judge. During a budget battle he urged council to fight politically holding up on mayoral votes to get something passed council wants.

I just found some notes I made on a council meeting of June 6, 2007 and that advice did not fare well for those that tried it:

Councilman Sheldon Neeley and Councilman Scott Kincaid had previously linked resolutions 070473 and 070474 (requests for radio advertising for the anti-dumping grant) and 070477 (Michener Auctioneer for the impound lot) Although Kincaid was not present at this meeting, Neeley referenced the previous decision as a condition to ensure two religious format radio stations (WOWE and WFLT) were included in the advertising formats. The idea was to hold up something that he Mayor needed in order to get what the council wanted.

Neeley was stunned when the Flint Police requested that the resolutions for advertising be dropped. Lt. Speedy was resolute and did not acquiese when challenged by Neeley repeatedly. Speedy read portions of the CDBG grant language in which he and Police Chief Hagler believed precluded the from altering their decision. This language referenced special interest special interest groups and religious institutions. Speedy noted that a Church owned WFLT and WOWE was shown by the the FCC to be a Vassar station that did not reach Flint.

Neeley then attempted to derail the auctioneer resolution. He received no support and the vote went 7 yes and Neeley was the single no with Kincaid absent.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The lesson is to know your opponent before you engage in the fray. Weaver needs to toughen up and challenge this inept and vengeful council.
Post Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:03 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Highlights of testimony from Flint City Council investigative hearing on grant spending

Print Kristin Longley | klongley1@mlive.com By Kristin Longley | klongley1@mlive.com
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on November 23, 2011 at 11:06 AM, updated November 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM


FLINT, Michigan -- The Flint City Council questioned five witnesses at Tuesday's investigative hearing on a $1.1 million energy grant that was terminated for "mismanagement" alleged by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Many of the questions were directed at Kate Fields, CEO of Advanced Solutions Group, which had a $250,000 consulting contract with the city for the $1.1 million energy grant.

The city is appealing the termination, and the demand that $214,000 of the grant be repaid. The termination of the grant led city council members to call the hearing.

The majority of the funds questioned by the department of energy are related to Advanced Solutions Group. Nearly $164,000 of the costs by Advanced Solutions Group and about $51,000 in costs by the city of Flint were identified by the department of energy to be unallowable, unsupported or unresolved, according to the letter.

In her testimony, Fields said the city of Flint did "next to nothing" to follow and implement the plan she wrote, which was approved by the department of energy. She also said she believed the city was spending grant funds on activities that had not been pre-approved by the feds.

As for the money she was paid, Fields said she has supporting documentation for all of her expenditures and doesn't know what costs the department is referring to in the letter because she hasn't spoken with the department of energy.

"I don't really know why in the termination letter they're making those allegations or statements," she said. "I would like to."

Council members asked Fields to submit her documentation for a later hearing.

Fields was paid nearly $250,000 to prepare an energy efficiency and conservation strategy, which was submitted to the department of energy in December 2009 and resulted in the city being awarded the balance of the $1.1 million grant in March 2010.

Fields was not the lowest bidder to submit a proposal to prepare the strategy, but said she believes she was the "lowest responsible bidder," which is the language used in federal regulations, she said. The Flint City Council approved her contract in September 2009, she said.

Council members questioned the funds Fields was paid in light of the allegations in the letter from the department of energy.

"If you were the most responsible bidder, it doesn't look that way," Councilman Bryant Nolden said.

Fields said the letter has inaccuracies.

"I don't think the city would have had any problems with this grant, if they'd simply implemented the projects," she said.

Council members also took testimony from the city's Green Coordinator Steve Montle, who said he was responsible for doing some administrative work on implementing the grant.

Montle and the city's grants manager, Tracy Atkinson, were among several employees paid for in part with funds from the grant, they testified.

Montle said none of the city's grant projects had been completed by the time the grant was suspended by federal investigators, but at least one was on its way to being done and several others were in the process.

Montle said he brought a recycling proposal that would have been grant funded to the council during the last year, but the council voted it down. Councilman Joshua Freeman said it was a deviation from the energy grant plan.

Atkinson, who oversaw implementation of the grant for the city, said she was surprised when the grant was suspended. She said her work on the grant had been "frustrating" because she wasn't able to get information she needed from city officials to submit reports on time to the department of energy.

Karen Morris, a former employee of the city, testified that she filed a complaint about potential grant violations in May 2010 with the city, which was later forwarded to the city's legal department. She said she also voiced her concerns to the department of energy.

Morris filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city after she was fired Nov. 11.

Lastly, council members questioned City Attorney Peter Bade about the termination letter from the department of energy. Bade denied the existence of the Oct. 27 letter to Councilman Sheldon Neeley in a phone call last week.

Bade said the letter was confidential under attorney-client privilege because the city was appealing the energy department's findings. He said he released the letter soon after the conversation after reviewing the matter.

Neeley, however, disagreed that the letter was confidential. Freeman said the letter should have been divulged.

"In my opinion, you lied to Councilman Neeley," Freeman said. "By doing that, you denied him his ability or us as a body our ability to perform our functions."

As the city attorney, Bade said he had an obligation to protect the city's legal position.

"I have certain legal duties," he said. "I have no problem as a lawyer protecting the confidences of my client."





8 comments

Flintasite
Flintasite Nov 23, 2011
Why does every project start with a quarter of million dollars in consulting fees? Just replace all lighting with LED's (not CFL's which emit EMF's and contain mercury) Update energy efficient windows and insulation. Common sense costs nothing, it's the stupidity and arrogance in government that is costly.

mo-drama
mo-drama Nov 23, 2011
Thats for sure! what do these "consultants" make, like $20 thousand an hour or something ? its ridiculous> she must have been somebodys friend.

zz20yy
zz20yy Nov 23, 2011
H20, it is you who is missing the point. Kate Fields was selected and approved by the City Council, not Walling. Why don't you ask the council to explain their decision of going with Ms. Fields when she was the HIGHEST bidder, and quite obviously incompetent. The other company was far more reputable.

Who, on the council, was friends with Ms. Fields prior to her being selected for this position? Funny how it is the council asking all the questions. Seems like it might be time for them to do some explaining.


h20h20h20h20
h20h20h20h20 Nov 23, 2011
All of you are missing the point......... walling paid his friends salaries out of federal funds that were earmarked for energy programs, not to mention the large monies paid to his friend Fields, who apparently according to the feds didn't do her job either.

That's borderline indictable for walling, montle, & fields. No wonder fields and walling are trying to point the fingers at each other. Montle is behind all of it, along w/eason & poplar. They all need to go.


stikimout
stikimout Nov 23, 2011
Our city council can't even function as a city council let alone questioning their own peer's and a city attorney !
(I would have said "our city council minus Mr. Freeman, but when he voted in favor of the Smith village boondoggle- he lost my support)

They should have gotten their own attorney (at the expense of the taxpayers, of course)...& did it right- and how convenient that they "ran out of time" to question Mr. Mayor.....!


votetracker
votetracker Nov 23, 2011
Council sure sounded like a joke in this hearing from what I've been told. Unprepared and unable to articulate appropriate questions. Several folks who were there indicated that council should be embarresed by their performance

for the kidz
for the kidz Nov 25, 2011
votetracker.....the ONLY embarrassment here is team Walling.........Bade, Montle, Eason and Walling are as corrupt as it gets and they have been arrogant and blatant about it for years. Now they not council will most likely see some prison time. The council headed by CROOK Kincaid now awakens and plays dumb to these schemes? The majority of council are corrupt and covering rears as well right now....hats off to Neely, Weighill and Sarginson......they are the only ones who have the cities interests at heart and havent been corrupted.
Post Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:51 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Many of the questions were directed at Kate Fields, CEO of Advanced Solutions Group, which had a $250,000 consulting contract with the city for the $1.1 million energy grant.

The city is appealing the termination, and the demand that $214,000 of the grant be repaid. The termination of the grant led city council members to call the hearing.

The majority of the funds questioned by the department of energy are related to Advanced Solutions Group. Nearly $164,000 of the costs by Advanced Solutions Group and about $51,000 in costs by the city of Flint were identified by the department of energy to be unallowable, unsupported or unresolved, according to the letter.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Fields was not the lowest bidder to submit a proposal to prepare the strategy, but said she believes she was the "lowest responsible bidder," which is the language used in federal regulations, she said. The Flint City Council approved her contract in September 2009, she said.

Council members questioned the funds Fields was paid in light of the allegations in the letter from the department of energy.

"If you were the most responsible bidder, it doesn't look that way," Councilman Bryant Nolden said.
Post Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:54 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Fields company was a new company. Her experience was she, through Greater Eastside Community Association, built 2 energy efficient homes on Flint's eastside. HUD Executive Jason Gamlin was upset when one house was sold to a single retired GM executive and the second had issues with the income qualifications being misrepresented.

The other company was a Ypsilanti based company with 17 years experience. This was the company selected by the Williamson administration. Council, led by then 7th ward councilman Jim Ananich, delayed the vote and later gave it to Fields.

Four City employees filed whistleblower lawsuits after reprimands for filing complaints with the Office of Inspector General. They won their jobs back .

Once again, Fields gets by with the help of her council friends. Was she selected to replace Josh Freeman so she could attack the Mayor?
Post Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:07 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

http://www.flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=8323&highlight=advanced+solutions+doe+grant+lost

Subject of why Flint needs an ethics policy and the allegations of Jackie Poplar;s extortion attempts with party store owners
Post Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:47 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

http://www.flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=8393&highlight=advanced+solutions+doe+grant+lost

thread on the advanced solutions deal and Kate Fields
Post Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:53 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

http://www.flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=8409&highlight=advanced+solutions+doe+grant+lost

more advanced solutions and Kate Field

shttp://www.flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=8650&highlight=advanced+solutions+doe+grant+lost

Advanced Solutions originally had Greg Eason as an officer before Walling made him Cty Administrator
Post Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:56 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

On July 23,2004, Kate Fields as Director of the Greater Eastside Association entered into a land contract for the purchase of 2802 Franklin Avenue to be used as an office for the nonprofit.(200408270090558) The purchase price was $18,711.26, with 1.9% per year, and $150.08 to be paid monthly.

Past due taxes and special assessments were due upon closing and current taxes prorated per the city schedule of payments. Insurance payments were to be kept up to date.
Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:22 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

April 7, 2004 letter from GECA to land Bank Director Art Potter. RE: Formal request for board action of 2802-2804 N Franklin....negotiated price.

In the letter she references a communication with Dan (Dan Kildee)about the financial figures provided. She stated Kildee believed he could eliminate everything(?) except the minimum bid ($16,374.46) and the 2003 taxes ($2,311.80). Fields indicated the sale price would then be $18,686.26, which included a tax title certification from the Land Bank for a title policy.

"Dan also said the interest rate is to be equal to your variable rate of interest so the contract should reflect that language. We would like a ten year amortization."
Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:39 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The response from Dan Potter of the Land Bank :

minimum price (LRC paid) $16,374.46; 2003 taxes paid by LRC $2,311.80.

The Land bank would "eat" a $25 legal services inspection (paid by LRC) and a $1,400 Title Certification (your request and eaten by LRC a well as a $1,000 transaction fee (LRC eats).

The assessed value of the two combined properties was $44,300, but the land bank took into consideration that GECA had made considerable renovations and added a new furnace which hey would count towards a far market price.

The option of financing was offered until other financing could be arranged. The Land Bank offered a 10 yer land contract with a 20 year amortization at 7% interest. Handwritten was the notation that the variable rate of interest determined by the countys' cash earning rate was less than 2%.) The monthly payment would be $243.83.
Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:54 am 
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