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April 30, 2001

Flint (MI) Mayor Woodrow Stanley was host to the 6th Annual Conference of the International Association of Character Cities March 29-31. The conference is designed to provide mayors and community leaders with the resources necessary to implement a community-wide character emphasis, beginning in government.

Macon (GA) Mayor C. Jack Ellis, in his first term as the city's first black mayor, is celebrating the fact that Macon was selected in January as a Year 2001 "city of excellence" by the Georgia Municipal Association. The award was given for Macon's outstanding city management and high quality of living. The city of 115,000 is about 75 miles south of Atlanta and considered the economic and cultural hub of middle Georgia.

President Bush April 17 announced his intention to nominate Rosario Marin, first Latina mayor of Huntington Park (CA) as U.S. Treasurer. Marin is currently a member of Huntington Park's City Council. If confirmed, she would be the fourth Latina to hold the position in the country's history.

Another former mayor, Stephen Goldsmith of Indianapolis, is in the news again. The Washington Post on April 26 reported that Goldsmith, Bush's domestic policy advisor for the Presidential campaign, is the leading contender to become postmaster general next month. Earlier, Goldsmith was named by President Bush to the board of the Corporation for National Service.

Binghamton (NY) Mayor Richard A. Bucci, received the 2000 Public Works Leader of the Year award March 24. The Southern Tier Branch of the American Public Works Association honored Mayor Bucci for his outstanding support and contributions in the public works field.

The April 30th issue of Newsweek magazine adds to another aspect of the national urban renaissance in listing 10 "new tech" cities. The article leads with Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's record in luring high tech companies by providing discounts, speedy building permits and needed access roads to new companies. Mayor Brown is featured with a two-page color photo spread and credited with bringing 300 companies to Oakland. Brown is California's ex-Governor and two-time Democratic presidential candidate. He became mayor in 1998. Other cities mentioned in the listing were Omaha, Tulsa, Dallas, Huntsville (AL), Akron, Ventura (CA), Washington, D.C., Denver and San Diego. The issue also has a prominent photo of D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, credited with a successful drive to lure high-tech companies and jobs from the suburbs to the inner city.

The city of Davenport (IA) and Mayor Phil Yerington received widespread national publicity last week as residents struggled to cope with Mississippi River floodwater, which crested at 22 feet. President Bush's Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Joseph Allbaugh angered Davenport residents by commenting that American taxpayers were subsidizing Davenport's aesthetic whimsies verses flood relief, according to a lengthy article in the April 25 Washington Post. Mayor Yerington pointed out that city residents had rejected proposals for a permanent levee. As USMayor went to press, FEMA's Allbaugh was travelling to Davenport to meet with residents and the mayor during the crisis.