Flint City Council Slams Blue Ribbon Committee’s Recommendations
Flint City Council members slammed recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Committee on Governance at a meeting on Monday. According to MLive, council members also took shots at how the committee was convened by Emergency Manager Darnell Earley.
The final report from the committee recommended shifting Flint to a council-manager form of government with an elected mayor and appointed city manager. Currently Flint puts the bulk of power in the mayor's hands. City council changes would also be considered by a charter commission and there would be ongoing training for all council members. The report calls for the charter amendments to be put before voters on the November ballot.
The report also recommends city officials - minus the attorney and clerk - be hired by the city manager. Elimination of the civil service commission, removal from the charter of the ombudsmen office and adopting multi-year budgeting, strategic planning and long-term financial planning was also in the report.
Councilwoman Jackie Poplar said she was "very, very concerned and disheartened" by the report and the "it's a shame and a disgrace." Councilman Eric Mays had requested a special meeting in order to discuss the recommendations and for Earley and others on the committee be available to answer questions. Committee chairman Robert Wesley who took most of the heat at the meeting said the report "was nothing more than study group to look at things to hopefully keep our city from going back into a financial crisis" and " we feel this is the best way to get ourselves out from under a financial emergency."