Mayor Karen Weaver today laid out the plan for her next 100 days in office at a morning press briefing held in the lobby of Flint City Hall. The Mayor’s plan for the next 100 days will focus mainly on addressing issues related to water and lead, but will also include building a vigorous community engagement program, implementation of the City’s Master Plan and increased attention to youth initiatives. The plan also lists restoring “Home Rule” to City government as a key objective.
“During the course of my campaign for this esteemed office, I made several pledges to the citizens of this community,” said Mayor Weaver. “First and foremost I pledged that I would work tirelessly to resolve the City’s water problems. I also made a pledge to work diligently to restore democracy and home rule, in addition to giving voice, truth and transparency to our residents.” While there are other items the Mayor is interested in addressing, the next 100 days will focused on those areas.
In dealing with the water issues in Flint, Mayor Weaver is working toward having the City declared a Federal Disaster Area as her first item. “We are faced with the largest public health and public service threat in the history of the City,” said the Mayor. “It will require resources far beyond our capabilities to remediate our water infrastructure problems.” Mayor Weaver has already begun meeting with representatives and senators at both the State and Federal levels. In addition to the Federal Declaration, the Mayor is also seeking to restructure the City’s Water Advisory Committee to include mayoral appointments, implementing a lead poisoning mitigation program in conjunction with local medical centers and expanding the Keep the Water Flowing program to include additional aid agencies.
Community engagement and the reestablishment of trust in local government will be vigorously sought by Mayor Weaver, as laid out in the 100 day plan. Beginning this month, the Mayor will conduct monthly Town Hall Meetings in each of the City’s nine wards. In addition, the Mayor plans to attend block club and neighborhood association meetings frequently, continue the Mayor’s “Open Office” time on Wednesday mornings to hear from constituents and create a “Mobile City Hall” to provide direct access to the Mayor.
Another key to the Mayor’s outreach strategy will be to meet frequently with various community stakeholders to gather input and reach out to educational institutions in an effort to gain insight into the problems facing Flint. Through relationships with local colleges and universities, the Mayor hopes to develop surveys for such issues as specific as determining the scope of problems with the City’s street lights and more general such as identifying citizen needs. Work is also being done through a university partnership to digitize old paper records of underground pipe materials to better track the location of lead-based service lines throughout the City.
Youth engagement is another part of the outreach strategy of the 100 day plan. Mayor Weaver is seeking to establish Operation HYRE (Helping Youth Reach Employment) in which she will call upon local businesses and vendors to provide summer employment opportunities for 500 City youth in 2016. The hope is to expand that year to year. In addition, the Mayor is seeking to form a Youth Advisory Council to provide opportunities for engagement in local government with students.
Mayor Weaver acknowledged that the ambitious scope of her plan will be rely on a spirit of cooperation within the community. “I am working every day to improve our quality of life,” the Mayor stated. “Flint’s stability depends on our collective effort to provide economic opportunity, promote healthy lifestyles, and ensure community prosperity. With our legendary Flintstone spirit we will prevail.”