I want my town to have a new mayor. In all my 26 years in this often stupid city, our succession of mayors has been not the least of our embarrassments. The current guy, Don Williamson, Daddy Warbucks rich and vulgar by nature (he used to go around town wearing a red, white and blue hardhat) is a smoke-filled-room ward boss type from the last century, glorying, like W., in his garbled grammar and folksy tyranny.
And his challenger, Dayne Walling, is a young kid who grew up only three or four blocks from here -- a Central High School graduate who got a Rhodes Scholarship, went to Oxford, and then came back to Flint with the confounding notion of running for mayor. He's only in his early 30s with a smart and pretty wife and two kids.
I want him to win. I've never gotten involved in local politics before, but this time I've found myself clicking on his "contribute" button several times. And tonight I walked (how lovely to walk) to a reception for our Congressman, the indefatigable Dem scion Dale Kildee, at Dayne Walling's home. It was fun. I know his mother -- I'm at that age now where she and I could hug and I could say, "You did good, Reba, I knew you'd make a good kid" and he could come up and tolerate us saying how he'd better make his mother proud before he turned away to hustle some union guy. I'd like to think there's a chance for grace and class and maybe even, real innovation in this post-industrial town bisected by its curving brown river. I hope this plucky kid wins.
Not a hero
5 years ago