Overall, the City of Flint has a vision and a plan and now it is focused on implementation in order to achieve a stronger and financially sound municipal government along with a safer and more stable community. Working together as a team, the City of Flint has been successful in the previous quarter in increasing public safety, improving infrastructure, creating jobs and development, eliminating blight, engaging citizens and managing financial and administrative challenges.
The quarterly strategic plan and budget review documents are available on the City’s website at www.cityofflint.com and I encourage you to take a look and become informed on the City’s current condition.
Areas of success noted in the quarterly report overview include:
Law enforcement is working hard with growing community support and total homicide victims is down 28% compared with 2013.
Utilities is managing with an eye toward the future and the construction of the KWA pipeline is underway, on time and within budget.
Development activities have increased with new facilities under construction at GM Flint Assembly, on the Buick City brownfield site with American Pipe, and downtown in the Health and Wellness District.
Blighted properties continue to be eliminated, using state and federal funds, and neighborhood volunteer groups have removed more than 2 million pounds of trash in major cleanup efforts.
The General Fund deficit continues to be reduced, and the City’s financial position is stabilized at least for the near term. Preliminary projections show the deficit as of June 30, 2014 to be $9 million, a reduction from $12.9 million the previous year.
Revenues and expenses for the first quarter of FY15 are in line with expectations.
Internal restructuring of the City continues at it strives to become efficient, effective, and customer service focused in an environment much smaller than in the past.
The transition from state oversight to traditional home rule is underway, guided by the Seven Point Plan recently enacted. If progress continues as anticipated, the next step in transition will occur in 2015.
Challenges also continue. The transition from DWSD to the Flint River for the City’s temporary supply of water until KWA is complete has occurred; however, the work of producing treated water has been complicated by the system’s aging infrastructure and varying temperatures. A badly needed update to the City’s web site is underway; progress has been delayed from initial completion targets as the selected vendor was unable to perform necessary tasks. The retiree lawsuit, whose outcome can seriously affect the financial solvency of the City, remains unresolved. Work continues to get done under difficult circumstances with limited resources, however the new strategic planning process is improving the City of Flint’s productivity, responsiveness and accountability.
Another aspect of achieving the City’s vision and mission is in governance and administration. Six charter questions are on the November 4th ballot that cover a charter commission, mayoral appointees, required offices, and the budget process. A fact sheet is attached so that you can be informed on the questions.
The next quarterly update and budget amendment is expected in January 2015. Stay tuned for that and please contact me anytime with questions, suggestions or concerns.