Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Walling Wins But State Takeover Looms

Dayne Walling at the White Horse on election night. (Photo courtesy of Austin Anthony/The Flint Journal)

Dayne Walling is re-elected mayor as the city faces an emergency financial takeover by the state. It would make Flint the first city in Michigan to undergo a state takeover twice. Here's a list of the municipalities declared a financial emergency:

  • City of Hamtramck - December 2000
  • City of Highland Park - July 2001
  • City of Flint - July 2002
  • Village of Three Oaks - December 2008
  • City of Pontiac - March 2009
  • City of Ecorse - October 2009
  • City of Benton Harbor - April 2010


  1. Why isn't Detroit there?

  2. I believe the emergency financial manager took over the Detroit Public School system, not the city itself.

  3. Detroit probably should be on the list. It's hard to believe that their finances are in any better shape. Detroit has lost a much greater percentage of its maximum population than Flint has. It's down 62% for Detroit, vs. 48% for Flint. It's a lot bigger public relations disaster and embarrassment if Detroit were taken over.

  4. Last time it was Mike Brown, IIRC, but I doubt if he wants to reprise that particular thankless gig.

    Most of the scuttlebutt about Detroit is that Mayor Bing has the inside track to be chosen as the Detroit EFM. He knows the finances and how large-organization accounting works, he's not a crook by all accounts, he isn't beholden to anyone, and everyone considers him to have the "consent of the governed".

    Detroit's too important to be allowed to crash and burn. Not so Flint, I'd guess.

    Highland Park and Hamtramck pulled out of their financial death-dives, but it's not clear that they were as bad off as Flint is.

    Who would be *willing* to take the Flint EFM job, and has the knowledge of Flint finances, and has the consent of the governed, and could get along with Lansing Republicans?

    Maybe Walling?

  5. I believe Mr. Bing was notified a week or so ago that the state may be coming in with an EFM. The Mayor said something to the affect, that he would welcome it, if it needed to be.

  6. This passed week, Mr. Bing stated that, "Detroit needs to solve Detroit's problems." If that is possible,he probably is the one to make it happen. He's the best Mayor Detroit has had in the last fifty years. It's a very lofty challenge though. Love to see it happen and for him to win the MVM award to put with all his other trophys

  7. I agree with JWilly that Mr. Bing is probably the best mayor Detroit has had in decades. But Dayne Walling is no schlub either. He's formed a coalition that can win not only at the polls, but can make positive contributions to all factions, something Detroit could not do for decades, under Young and Kilpatrick at least. You don't gain by alienating everyone except your political base. I think Dayne Walling is as capable as Bing in leadership, and just needs some good advisors, not a czar.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at