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Topic: Tell me is it racism or financial accountability?
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Woodrow Stanley

SAME MOVIE
Have you ever seen a movie twice and silently hoped for a different outcome? There are a few loud , irrational voices banging the recall drum again in Flint. Mayor Weaver has been blamed for everything from too much rain to not enough sunshine. Even though the leading actors have changed since Flint's last recall in 2002, the tactics and script are eerily similar. And regardless of the recall election (if enough petitions are certified) outcome Flint will have another EMERGENCY MANAGER! This is not speculation but a sober examination of recent events. You may disagree, but I implore you to check the record. Since 2002 Flint has had five (5) EMERGENCY MANAGERS. Another recall is a screaming neon billboard that Flint is too dysfunctional to handle its own affairs. Folks it's the same movie . Don't expect a different outcome.
Post Tue May 02, 2017 4:06 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Yes Woodrow it is Deja Vu as the same players that played the race card in your support, are using the same words to support Weaver.

Prophetic or the same old song, the speech after the recall vote in March of 2002 was printed in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and other papers nationwide. Here 15 years later, and the same arguments used by your supporters are once again circulating on the radio and throughout social media.

"The stench of racism that reeks [from] this election will linger in the nostrils of the community for decades."

National stories referred to Flint as a "town divided" and pointed to Flint's history as a highly segregated city with a strong history of racially divisive actions. They also focused on your racially tinged comments that made national news because of your high profile stature.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 7:51 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The recall group was a loose coalition (and racially mixed) that mobilized after the highly publicized argument between you, your administration and the City Council over the 2000 budget. Say what you want against Kincaid, but he knows how to interpret the city budgets. Council contested the budget you presented and an auditor confirmed there was a $10 million "phantom" revenue in the budget. You sued but an out of court settlement removed the disputed $10 million.

An unintended consequence of the audit revealed a large and growing deficit. Both races in the recall effort voiced concern that the then $30 million deficit would only get worse if you were given another 2 years. They cited financial mismanagement and your history of playing the "race card" in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Mike Keeler of the UAW and a recall leader discussed how you were in the sights of both black and white anger as they believed there was a desire t put political longevity ahead of the City's welfare. They cited your failure to make spending adjustments after Buick City left and there was a loss of another 4,000 employees.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 8:22 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The LA Times also quoted you saying how the "recall effort turned black against black like the old days in the south". That phrase is being used today by some Weaver supporters.

There is some accuracy in that statement. A large turnout in your race with Collier in 1991 had you winning with over 8,000 votes. However, by the 1999 race between you and Council President Kincaid had you winning by less than a thousand votes. And that was after you ran a TV ad against Kincaid that called his northern home "The Big House" which some newspapers called playing to the theme of a slave and master plantation home.

Media reports indicate that only 32% of the electorate voted in the recall vote and 53% who voted were black and yet you lost by over 3500 votes.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 8:41 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The deficit was growing to $38 million, the streets were filled with potholes, the parks had knee high grass and were trash filled. You slashed city services, closed the city jail, a fire station, and cut jobs in both police and fire. There was high unemployment and a crumbling infrastructure. Moody's reduced the bond rating to almost junk bond status, only 1 of 16 U.S. cities with that rating.

The Boston Globe wrote a story in May of 1998 that called Flint a poster city for the dark side". The cited an administration and committees that did not decide how to diversify. Neil Leightion, an economist with U of m Flint, stated that while there was much discussion of diversification, nothing changed. The Billy Durant Commission was said to give up on Flint after "concluding the city was in deep denial " about it's failures. When they asked William Donahue for an example of a non-automotive business success, he was said to respond with Midnight Burglar Alarm Company.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 9:05 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The recall effort stated the belief you spent too much time traveling and not enough time managing the affairs of the city. The media reported on your friendship with President William J. Clinton. He visited Flint 4 times, and gave you a radio ad for the recall. Two weeks before the recall election NY activist Al Sharpton came to Flint on your behalf which was not successful.

You were prominent. You were former President of both the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Association of Mayors. You also held the position of Vice Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party and were Chair of the national League of Cities. Your ability to raise funds, especially for the Democratic party was lauded.

Your administration was fraught with financial irregularities and missteps and your Finance Director was heavily criticized. There were failures to distribute taxes correctly, failures for two years to properly post retirement funds, improper investments that brought state attention You had two administrators indicted and imprisoned for corruption. There were other allegations of corruption and misconduct by your staff.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 9:28 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The bottom line is the State was on the verge of stepping in and would have done so even if you had not been recalled. Some residents are still angry over what they believe to be overly generous "early retirements" and outrageous pensions given to some and then the rehiring of retired key officials. The pension legacy costs and other pension employment benefits will haunt Flint for many years to come.

Residents still quote your famous line from the appointment of a replacement for Sheriff Joe Wilson. Your comment seemed angry on the news when you said "you better not come north of the river." When the LA Times reported it they called it a racial taunt to ensure your black choice was selected by the three person panel. You told them it was not a taunt but a comment on political support from the Black community.

You blamed the Flint Journal for the recall because they printed an editorial supporting one and Andrew Heller discussed the over $152,000 fine received for safety violations in the main fire department. The fire department did not even have fire alarms. The Journal was also distressed by the announcement of the deficit which reached over $38 million.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 9:48 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

John Hightower with a small band of NAACP supporters demanded the resignation of key Flint Journal officials and a boycott of the Journal. This is the same Hightower that ran a illegitimate campaign group for Jeff Wright in 2000.

The LA Times quoted Roger Samuelson, publisher of the Flint Journal :
"It has reopened some long laying wounds and divided the city along racial lines...The process is what did that, but the end result will be a city moving forward." Also Paul keep, Editor noted "we seem to have a tendency in this town when it comes to politics to play the Race card".

There was hope for Flint then. As the Boston Globe noticed Flint was a city in the donut hole. Flint like some other rust belt cities was in a decline with lost revenue and lost population. Meanwhile the county was growing in poplulation, manufacturing and economic growth.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Wed May 03, 2017 2:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed May 03, 2017 10:04 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

20010815 City chaos makes good copy - What are we doing?
https://www.waterwedoing.website/docs/2001/20010815-FJ-city-chaos.php
City chaos makes good copy (August 15, 2001). By Andrew Heller. I returned from vacation to numerous questions that popped up while I was away about ...


This link contains a list of Journal stories documenting the financial problems caused by Marc Puckett during his tenure as Finance Director fr Flint as well as problems he caused in his new job.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Wed May 03, 2017 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed May 03, 2017 10:08 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

City chaos makes good copy (August 15, 2001)

By Andrew Heller

I returned from vacation to numerous questions that popped up while I was away about whether I was thrilled with the attempt to recall the mayor.

Let me answer collectively: Are you nuts? This guy is black gold, copy-wise. Texas tea. And I’m Jed Clampett. Sure, the city needs a change in leadership. Sure, Flint’s a mess and getting worse by the minute. And, sure, the Woodman simply hasn’t done the job. But recall him? Hello? Leaders like this don’t exactly grow on trees, people.

I’m being purely selfish, of course, but it would be just my rotten luck if the recall were to succeed. Woodrow suddenly would have to find some other way to print money without doing a whole lot. (I recommend columnizing.) And there I’d be without my ace in the hole, my fallback plan, my when-all-else-fails man.

For instance, when I return from vacation it’s difficult to write because it takes a few days to work up a healthy anger about anything. So what happened Sunday night as I read through the week of Journals I had missed? Flint fire offenses to cost $151,200.

Oh, sweet mama, I love this man.

The fines, it turns out, are the biggest ever levied by the state against a fire department in Michigan and nearly twice as large as the previous record fine for safety violations. (So if we’re ever searching for something to put on welcome signs at the city limit. … )

According to my favorite newspaper, the state has conducted 1,053 inspections of fire departments since 1989, and in all that time it has found only eight willful violations of Michigan OSHA standards. Wanna guess how many the Flint Fire Department had in this one inspection? Three. That’s huge. That’s like the Detroit Tigers beating someone 94-3. We rule!

And the funniest thing is that several of the violations were for — get this — not having functioning smoke detectors in several fire stations. No smoke detectors! That’s like a jail not having locks on the cells. Like a … well, it’s like a fire station … not having freaking smoke detectors!

In all, the state found 90 safety violations. As the City Council’s Scott Kincaid put it: It’s absolutely ridiculous that the fire department has that much disregard for firefighters’ safety.

The problem, it seems, is that no one instituted the sort of routine safety and maintenance programs that just about every other business has had in place for years.

That would seem to bespeak a lack of quality leadership. And guess who appointed the fire chief under whose watch all this happened (or didn’t happen, as the case may be)?

That’s right. Your fearless leader, the Woodman.

It’s a bit early to blame the fire chief alone, but if the buck in his department stops with him, then what we have here is another example of the mayor’s inability to pick quality people for crucial jobs.

Let’s see, there was James Makokha, the former director of governmental policy who was convicted of bribery charges. Then there was Steven Waller, the former director of parks and recreation, who was convicted of attempted embezzling. And of course, who could forget Marc Puckett, the former finance director who resigned after costing the city a million dollars for screwing up pension funds?

Recall? You don’t recall a mayor who brought you all that AND leads the city into financial ruin AND acts as if he’s God’s gift to North America. Not from my perspective, anyway.

You give him a lifetime contract.

To contact Andrew Heller, call (810) 766-6116, fax (810) 767-2278 or e-mail aheller@flintjoumal.com. For Heller columns online, visit fl.mlive.com/columns.

Copyright Flint Journal / MLive Media Group (mlive.com). Used with permission.

Files dealing with Marc Puckett:

19920114 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920225 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920303 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920305 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920319 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920623 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19950701 ‘Politics’ claimed in city’s nonpayment of bill
19960111 Retirement firm accuses official of favoritism
19960403 Folks soaked by water bills may get relief
19970320 A flood of complaints
19980103 Flint: Two honors go to finance director
19990130 $9-million pension fund transfer raises questions
19990202 Retirement panel urges ‘immediate’ audit of plan
19990203 Retirement board splits over need for independent manager
19990203 Finance director resigns under fire of pension flap
19990210 Former finance director lashes back at critics, hints suit
19990224 Flint to boost pension fund
19990319 Flint sent tax funds to wrong units
19990326 Ex-finance director cashes in on $6,000 in unused vacation time
19990330 Flint could owe state millions some industrial facilities taxes have not been paid since 1996
19990408 Stanley acts on money woes, appoints new finance chief
19990411 Stanley must share blame as part of his plan to fix city’s financial woes
19990909 Audit details shortfalls in financial procedures
20000901 Officials walk away, get payouts
20010815 City chaos makes good copy
20020223 City’s finance department: Better or worse?
20090831 City’s finance director placed on leave
20110104 The world according to John Moorlach
20160913 Documents link top Apple Valley official to #FlintWaterCrisis
20160913 Investigation: Flint / Apple Valley Connection
20160915 Economic Speech (Trump)
20161018 Will Apple Valley become California’s Flint, MI?
Comments for tonight’s council meeting
The innumerate Mr. Puckett
Shill crazy after all these years
Earth to Puckett!
About those awards
20170319 Trump EPA grants Michigan $100 million to fix Flint water system
20170320 Sinkhole: Effort to replace pipes to Flint homes off to slow start
No on Measure F
Executive summary
My proposal
Maintained by Greg Raven.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 10:09 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Former Flint mayor predicts another emergency manager if Weaver is recalled

Former Flint mayor Woodrow Stanley (left) says the recall of current Mayor Karen Weaver would trigger declaration of another financial emergency in the city.

Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com
on May 03, 2017 at 12:51 PM, updated May 03, 2017 at 1:23 PM
FLINT, MI -- The last Flint mayor to be recalled is warning voters that another attempted recall will throw the city back into emergency management.

In a Facebook posting, former mayor and state representative Woodrow Stanley said the effort to recall Karen Weaver is "eerily similar" to circumstances under which voters recalled him in March 2002.

Within two months, former Gov. John Engler declared a financial emergency in Flint and in July, Ed Kurtz, a former chief executive officer at Baker College System, was appointed to run the city.

Kurtz served a second stint as emergency manager during parts of 2012 and 2013.

Ballot language for Weaver's recall has been approved and organizers are circulating petitions to force the referendum.

The court finds the recall petition refers to the actions of the mayor, not the validity of a contract," Neithercut said before the courtroom filled with Flint citizens, pastors and local politicians.

"There are a few loud, irrational voices banging the recall drum again in Flint," Stanley wrote in his posting. "Mayor Weaver has been blamed for everything from too much rain to not enough sunshine.

"Even though the leading actors have changed since Flint's last recall in 2002, the tactics and script are eerily similar. And regardless of the recall election (if enough petitions are certified) outcome Flint will have another EMERGENCY MANAGER!

"This is not speculation but a sober examination of recent events," Stanley wrote. "You may disagree, but I implore you to check the record. Since 2002 Flint has had five (5) EMERGENCY MANAGERS. Another recall is a screaming neon billboard that Flint is too dysfunctional to handle its own affairs. Folks it's the same movie . Don't expect a different outcome."

MLive-The Flint Journal could not immediately reach representatives of Weaver or Gov. Rick Snyder for comment.

Snyder appointed a series of emergency managers take the place of elected officials in Flint from 2011 until 2015.

Flint operated in financial receivership from July 2002 until June 2004 and again from 2011 until 2015. A Receivership Transition Advisory Board remains in place here with veto power over proposed budgets, budget amendments and other matters.

Emergency managers act in place of local elected officials, according to state law, and receivership boards monitor the affairs of local governments where a financial emergency had been declared.

Just last month, Genesee Circuit Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut ruled that recall language put forth by Flint resident Arthur Woodson and approved by the Genesee County Election Commission was valid.

The petition language says the reason for the recall is Weaver's signing of an emergency waste collection contract with Rizzo Environmental Services, which has been connected to a public corruption investigation in Metro Detroit.

Woodson needs to collect nearly 5,800 signatures for the recall language to be placed on the ballot, a figure equivalent to 25 percent of city voter turnout in the most recent governor's election.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 2:35 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Apple Valley's head of finance comes under fire - News - - ,
www.vvdailypress.com/news/.../apple-valleys-head-of-finance-comes-under-fire
Sep 14, 2016 - The six-page report — released by the Apple Valley Citizens for Government ... contends a financial practice instituted by Marc Puckett during his tenure in Flint, ... “failed tenure” as Flint, Michigan's director of finance “contributed to financial ... We have exceeded the standards set by the California Society of ...
Apple Valley’s head of finance comes under fire

Posted Sep 14, 2016 at 1:26 PM
Updated Sep 14, 2016 at 3:51 PM

By Matthew Cabe
Staff Writer

APPLE VALLEY — A report released Tuesday by a group aligned with Liberty Utilities alleges that a key town official’s “failed tenure” as Flint, Michigan’s director of finance “contributed to financial disaster and ultimately poisoned water” in that city.

The six-page report — released by the Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability — also contends a financial practice instituted by Marc Puckett during his tenure in Flint, which involved charging various accounts for things the general fund had paid for previously, is the same that “has been heavily criticized in the Town of Apple Valley” while Puckett has served as Assistant Town Manager in charge of finance.


CGA is outspoken against the town’s eminent domain acquisition attempt of the water system owned by Liberty Utilities, Apple Valley, and CGA leadership said the report “should certainly put a damper on the Town of Apple Valley’s assurances that they can handle taking over the water system.”

Town Manager Frank Robinson characterized the report as a personal and mean-spirited attack made by “those on the losing side of a critical public policy issue.”

“These character attacks have no bearing whatsoever on the exhaustive and transparent studies, legal briefs, appraisals and other reports that have presented to the public and the Town Council regarding acquisition of the water system,” Robinson said via email. “We stand behind the integrity and competency of Mr. Puckett.”

From 1992 to 1999, Puckett oversaw Flint’s Finance Department. He was at the helm in January of ’99 when that city forwarded $9 million to its pension system after failing to make transfers for about six months, according to the report that cites numerous articles published in the Flint Journal between 1999 and 2000.

Puckett abruptly resigned days after news of the transfer broke, and he revealed in a letter to then 6th Ward City Councilman Mark Horrigan that “deposits — made up of employer and employee contributions — have not been transferred as they should have been for more than two years,” one Flint Journal article noted.

Not long after, former Flint Treasurer Jim Goodwin told the Flint Journal the untransferred amount “was up to $21 million at one point.” At the time of his resignation, Puckett said he was considering a job offer received in December 1998.

The CGA report claims that the failed transfers, which were supposed to have been moved every two weeks from a cash account to a money market retirement system account, cost Flint $1.1 million due to lost interest that the fund would have made.


Puckett declined to comment on his time in Flint when the Daily Press contacted him in February; however, in the letter to Horrigan he stressed that “all monies in question ... have always been on deposit in the retirement fund,” the Flint Journal reported.

He also said that “the money had simply not been transferred from one retirement fund to another.” Puckett blamed the failed transfers on an internal auditor in his department, but the Journal reported that a grievance chairman with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees described that blame as “appalling” in a letter to then City Administrator David Ready.

The letter said the employee blamed for failing to make the transfer “was never trained in this area because they are not authorized to do transfers to the pension fund,” according to the Flint Journal. Prior to his resignation, Puckett did acknowledge he was to blame for failing to catch the employee’s error.

In the weeks after Puckett’s resignation, the Flint Journal also reported on $6 million in misdirected property tax payments, as well as “millions of dollars in industrial facility taxes” that hadn’t been paid to the state of Michigan since 1996.

Seven months after Puckett resigned, an audit “found significant deficiencies in the city’s internal controls over financial reporting,” the Flint Journal reported.

Meanwhile, some 17 years on, Citizens for Government Accountability leadership believes Puckett’s actions can be linked to the water crisis in Flint that began in 2014 after that city changed its primary water source to the Flint River, a move that resulted in lead contamination and thrust the public health danger there into the national spotlight.

“Puckett’s previous employer, Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley, was recalled two years after Puckett’s resignation, largely because of the financial mess his administration had left the City in,” CGA leadership said in a statement. “The same year as Stanley’s recall, the Michigan State Government appointed an Emergency Manager for Flint, which ultimately led to a switch to the Flint River as a water source, lead-filled pipes, and ultimately the #FlintWaterCrisis.”


The statement added, “It was actually under Puckett’s tenure as Finance Director that Flint water bills from its city-owned water utility soared, with some residents experiencing a ten-fold increase.”

Robinson, however, praised Puckett’s work, which includes helping to continue the town’s 13-year streak of receiving the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.

“Under Mr. Puckett’s leadership, our financial stewardship has earned us accolades from national and international government accounting firms,” Robinson said. “... We have exceeded the standards set by the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, earning the Operating Budget Excellence Award for the first time in 2015, and again this year.”

CGA demanded answers in light of the report on Puckett, who has been in charge of Apple Valley’s finances since 2010. Diana Carloni, a former Hesperia mayor and member of CGA’s leadership committee, said Puckett’s “behavior in Flint shows a frightening pattern that is evident today in how he handles Apple Valley residents’ tax dollars.”

“He demonstrates an utter lack of transparency,” Carloni said, “and crafts budgets that we have routinely called a ‘shell game’ for the way they obscure spending.”

Matthew Cabe can be reached at MCabe@VVDailyPress.com or at 760-951-6254. Follow him on Twitter @DP_MatthewCabe.
Post Wed May 03, 2017 5:17 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Darryl Buchanan endorsed by religious leaders in Flint mayor's race

By Kristin Longley | klongley1@mlive.com
Follow on Twitter
on September 27, 2011 at 10:35 AM

FLINT, Michigan — Darryl Buchanan, candidate for mayor of Flint, was endorsed by more than a dozen local religious leaders this morning.
Buchanan is challenging Flint Mayor Dayne Walling in the Nov. 8 general election.

The Rev. Alfred Harris said religious leaders who support Buchanan have to do more than just pray for his success.

"We have to identify a candidate," he said, speaking to a group gathered at Buchanan's campaign headquarters, 877 E. Fifth Ave. "We have the No. 1 candidate right here."

Buchanan came in second place in the seven-way mayoral primary, finishing with 24 percent to Walling's 48 percent.

Buchanan campaign worker Karen Weaver said at least 17 pastors have endorsed Buchanan.

Buchanan said he appreciates the pastors' support as he works to get votes, and said religious leaders have played an important role throughout history.

"It was the clergy that went about bringing the change we needed," he said. "I'm going to work, I'm going to pray with these pastors... We will bring about the change in this community that we need."
Post Wed May 03, 2017 5:33 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Is it the same group of Pastors that are determined to dominate our city politically?
Post Thu May 04, 2017 5:06 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

TREASURY - City of Flint - State of Michigan
www.michigan.gov/treasury/0,4679,7-121-1751_51556_64472-2982...

MI Dept of Treasury - Status: Receivership - Transition Advisory Board. ... Documents. RTAB Appointments: Original Board ... January 11, 2017 Meeting Minutes.

All of the RAB packets and minutes are here. Woodrow is referring to the fact that we are still under state receivership. Although both Mayor and Council have had their powers restored, there are still some EM orders in place. Only the State Treasurer or RTAB can eliminate these orders.

So, is Weaver really running the City? What are her duties? The Home Rule Act basically left the duties of the Mayor up to the cities, but Flint never described them in the Charter or in the new proposed Charter
Post Thu May 04, 2017 5:13 am 
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