In the latest act of ignorant cronyism, Flint Mayor Don Williamson has fired Kay Kelly, project director of the wonderfully successful Kearsley Park Project. I'm so frustrated and outraged about this that I'm ready to go down to City Hall and SIT IN.
Here's a link to my June East Village Magazine column about Kay. Kay Kelly Reclaiming a Public Space. It is infuriating that in a town so often bereft of good news that Kay's remarkable project should have to fight for support, much less be axed. This is not just knucklehead myopia, this is urban sadism.
Added later: Here is what Mike Kelly posted about Kay's firing on Facebook this afternoon. You'll note I'm making no pretense of objectivity about this...I haven't heard any of "the other side" but here in Flint we are used to Williamson's capricious and often irrational actions.
There may be some rumors flying around so I wanted to get the facts on the record.
Don Williamson terminated Kay Kelly as Kearsley Park Project Director via a perfunctory letter on Friday, September 12, 2008.
His decision was made despite the fact that Kay Kelly had turned Kearsley Park from a park people avoided to a vital place used by diverse individuals for exercise and recreation. Kay had raised money to bring playgrounds, ball fields and walking/biking paths to Kearsley Park. In addition, she turned the park into a vital center of community activities from theater and concerts to weddings and family reunions.
All of this was accomplished by fundraising efforts that resulted in no cost to the City or the city taxpayers and often provided free entertainment and enrichment to the community.
Kay had already received confirmation of a grant to continue her position for two more years when it appeared that Williamson wanted to replace Kay with one of his cronies.