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Mayoral candidate Kim addresses business group

Jung Ho Kim, businessman and mayoral candidate, was the speaker at the East Side Business Association meeting July 20. Kim outlined his three-point plan for the city if elected mayor — safety, jobs and education.

Kim, a native of South Korea, began his talk saying that he was aware he had a different accent.

"I don't work with my mouth," he said, "I work with my heart."

"Crime and public safety are my number one priority. Why are there so many homicides and guns," Kim said.

He said his plan would take a long time but that he would review the budget and find unnecessary expenses then redirect that money to public safety.

Kim said he would work with General Motors to bring back Buick City for jobs.

"I will talk with them and other companies to bring as many jobs back to Flint as possible. If safety is an issue I'll bring in the Michigan State Police," he said.

Kim's plan includes contacting the colleges and universities in the city to find graduates who can develop businesses in Flint that will hire locals. He also favors custom-made training for businesses that will relocate here.

Recognizing that education is not typically a function of city government, he said, "If we don't change education, we can't stop crime."

Kim's plans include opening a dialog with the Board of Education that will help keep children in school, instead of on the streets.

"Kicking kids out of school sets them up for failure. When kids are suspended from school they have idle time and get into trouble," Kim said.

Kim said education includes more than knowledge. Accountability and morality are also parts of education, he said.

"I want to mix our cultures together for the best. The Korean culture regards respect as an important part of education," he said.

Asked what criteria he would use to select his staff if elected mayor, Kim replied that he would take over the city "as is" and review each individual's work. The only exception would be corruption — he would not tolerate any.

Asked how he would continue to run his current business and the city, Kim said that his son would take over his business.

Asked if he has ever attended a city council meeting, Kim replied, "No. I read the newspaper everyday. I get information from the newspapers about city council meetings."

Kim migrated to the U.S. in 1980 after receiving a bachelor's of arts degree in South Korea. He is married and has three children. He is the owner of KMS Beauty Supply at 820 Welch Blvd.

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