Sunday, May 6, 2012

Flint: What's in a Name?

Will a name change help Flint Township's dismal economic outlook and bolster its reputation? Chuck Hughes, a former township treasurer who works for the Flint School District, thinks that freeing the township from the shackles of the word "Flint" will certainly help.


"I think the issues with Flint are Flint's issues, and they are made Flint Township's by simply having Flint in the name," he told Roberto Acosta of MLive. "We're at the mercy of Flint to fix their image."


A name change committee has been formed, and any change would have to be approved by the township committee and voters. 


Of course, there's a strong argument that Flint's economic vitality during the boom years is the only reason Flint Township even exists in its present form, but a sense of history doesn't seem to be part of this debate. (Hughes salary, by the way, comes from a city of Flint entity.)


Some of the possible names being floated include West Point and Bishop, a nod to the airport. (I'm surprised West Pointe, with that all-important silent 'e' wasn't suggested.) Do readers have any other ideas? How about Fair Weather Friend Township?

28 comments:

  1. This is the ultimate desperation. This is not a perception problem. It's an economic problem. They can change the name to Paradise and it won't change a thing. We really need to cut back on the influence of PR flaks, marketers and branding experts. Waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am not an economic expert but I would believe that an "econo"system would need a lot of ingredients like an natural ecosystem would. One thing to feed another to feed another, and so on. A high percentage of service or sales economic base like the township has now is going to be just as volatile as the City of Flint has been with its heavy manufacturing economic base history. Diverse manufacturing industry, agriculture, service industry, food service, education, all forms of businesses are needed to be healthy economically.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Flint Township is backwards... enough said.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's pretty obvious what the name should be. Carman Township is the obvious historical choice. Carman Ainsworth Township would be awkward, but it matches the school district name and early settlers near The Bronx subdivision.

    East Point is ridiculous. East Detroit already changed to Eastpointe. And what is East about Flint Township? It's west of Flint.

    An incorporation effort was made in the 1960s to incorporate Flint Twp. as the City of Carman in two parts, separated by Flint.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe it was also considered to incorporate as Grandwood Heights (not Grandview Heights), but with a zone outside Flint Twp. to connect the two parts separated Bishop Airport (FNT). The state boundary commission set a precedent when it allowed Lansing to annex Capital City Airport as part of Lansing without being connected to Lansing, making a two part city possible with only Flint Twp. considered.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Stay Positive, my mistake...West Point is the name under consideration, not East Point as I mistakenly wrote in the original post. I've corrected the error.

    Maybe West Point would imply an element of military might and control, further distancing Flint Township from Flint proper. Still a dumb name, though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Any city name with "Heights" in the name sounds antiquated and less prestigious than a city with "Hills" in the name.

    Carman Hills and Western Hills (the name of a prestigious Flint Twp. subdivision) sound very good. There are some rolling hills near the river at least.

    Perhaps Flint proper should consider a name change. I've always thought Grand Blanc Hills would be nice. North Bloomfield Hills sounds good for Pontiac. Grosse Pointe Hills is a winner for Detroit.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maybe Flint should change it's name to distinguish itself from the sterile, boring township. I propose the City of Flint change it's name to the City of Grand Green Rolling Meadow Hills Estates Acres Woods

    ReplyDelete
  9. City names with "Hills" sound better than city names with "Heights".

    Carman Hills and Western Hills sound very good. There are some rolling hills near the rivers and streams of Flint Twp.

    Maybe Flint should consider a name change. Grand Blanc Hills sounds nice. North Bloomfield Hills sounds good for Pontiac, and Grosse Pointe Hills sounds very nice for Detroit.

    My first post disappeared from the screen. I din't know if it was lost or was submitted by hitting something by accident.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How about Not-Flint, Michigan?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here's a town name generator. There are also subdivision name generators, which produce LOL sub names along the way to a few decent ones.

    http://k4-pacific.com/nametown.php

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well, WDIV-TV, the Dive, has checked in on this.

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/Residents-wonder-if-Flint-Township-needs-new-brand/-/1719418/12573004/-/hryuxjz/-/index.html

    I tried to post this on their website after reading the geographically ignorant comments people made.

    "It is obvious that roughly half of you or more do not know the difference between Flint and Flint Township. Flint Township has a lot of upscale neighbohoods like the Western Hills Subdivision. Many professionals and executives moved out there from Flint when it looked like there was no other choice.

    Many Detroit Media stories about events in the Flint area show a very basic lack of understanding of the geography of the area. The first thing your news department needs to do is to study a few good old fashioned paper maps of the area."

    Free Republic also has a thread on this, which is similarly clueless. Links to a good Grand Funk Railroad song though!

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2880598/posts

    ReplyDelete
  13. Why not Genesee Valley since thas what the area wad known as long before the mall was built.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I seem to recall someone said this was proposed awhile back in the 70's??? In any case, I don't see the point. In a way, it reminds me of how the Soviets used to rename things to make them seem better "Pravda" for the news (means 'Truth'), and Sanitation Engineer for Janitor, etc...

    I think there's a pride that says you're from Flint, and if Flint Township can't see that, then perhaps they should appropriately be called Flushing Township.

    ReplyDelete
  15. As far as I remember, the name Genesee Valley was never used anywhere in the area before the Mall came to be. Geographically, the term Genesee Valley refers to the area around the Genesee River in Western New York.

    The Flint area has been considered as part of the Saginaw Valley, but Genesee Valley was never heard locally before the Mall.

    ReplyDelete
  16. when a town in NC held a meeting to name the place.There were so many why not call it this ,why not call it that,that we have the town of Whynot NC

    ReplyDelete
  17. As someone who has lived here since 1955, I assure you the area around the mall has been called genesee valley. it is common to name malls after the area they are located. It may have been an informal designation like otterburn a mile west, but that's what called the area.

    ReplyDelete
  18. After 1970, I would agree that people called the area around the mall the Genesee Valley area. However, since there is no river in Michigan named Genesee, there was no valley named Genesee. In fact, there was no reference to a Flint Valley either. It was always named the Saginaw Valley after the mighty Saginaw River that all the other rivers flowed into in the low lying flat wetlands southwest of Saginaw. WTRX called itself "The Friendly Giant Of The Saginaw Valley" in the early 1960s, and most of the other radio stations referred to the region as being in the Saginaw Valley. "Genesee Valley" was a play on the Saginaw Valley and Genesee County.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I grew up in Flint Township and I don't ever recall saying I lived anywhere but "Flint" because I've always thought that "township" had a red headed bastard stepchild connotation to it.

    Now I'm the balding bastard stepchild of Grand Blanc.

    Renaming is a waste of time and money.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's factual that property values in Detroit's and Pontiac's near suburbs increased and stayed higher after they changed their names.

    I suppose it seems perverse to the Flint-patriots here, but higher property values do rub off. It would be good for Flint's tax base and thus governmental survivability to have this change occur.

    As to its history...I participated in Flint Township politics in the early '90s. Such a name change was a simmering topic then, at least among politically active folks, though it never got as far as serious action.

    ReplyDelete
  21. G'morrah, MI, 48532!! It works great for me!! lol

    ReplyDelete
  22. Mini-Horse Acres:

    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/05/no_horsing_around_flint_townsh.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. 1) Genesee Valley is the obvious choice, although I'm pretty sure there's already a Genesee Township nearby.

    2) "Not Swartz Creek" -- any name change will reflect the desire to distinguish Flint Township from both Flint proper and "The Creek." I always thought Flint Twp. lacked an identity, had a neither-here-nor-there feel to it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I hate to beat a dead carriage, but in light of the news of the Flint Farmer's market move, who cares about renaming Flint. I think Flint needs a new tag line to describe itself instead.

    "Flint. It's about the parking." :p

    ReplyDelete
  25. UM, Grumkin, this is about rename the TOWNSHIP OF FLINT not THE CITY OF FLINT.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That's funny. :) I knew that on May 6yh, but it completely skipped my mind on July 7th. Thanks for the callout SteveS. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting.
www.teardownbook.com