Flint Mayor presents budget for 2022 fiscal year as residents raise concerns regarding public safety

City focusing on large increases to city’s pension system, but resident wants to hear more about public safety
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 1:22 AM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (03/01/2021) - The Mayor presented his budget proposal to City Council on Monday night.

In it, a recommendation to keep keep the number of active officers at the same level through 2023.

One resident says she’s not hearing enough about the city investing to keep community members safe.

“This is a Flint issue. We’re talking about the gun violence and the drive-by shootings,” Flint resident, Tonya Burns said.

Following recent gun violence, including a 15-year-old shot outside his home, Burns brought her concerns to the table on Monday night, hoping Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s 2022 Fiscal Year Budget Presentation would be focusing on public safety to move the city forward.

“Without having good public safety, it threatens everything in the city: businesses, people wanting to travel. It affects everything: tourism, jobs, new businesses wanting to come, so we have got to get a handle on public safety,” Burns said.

During the overview of the budget, Neeley focused on large increases to the city’s pension system, but Burns says she wanted to hear more about public safety.

During the presentation, Neeley said, “This is a balanced budget. This budget protects police and fire staffing levels. No layoffs.”

Although Neeley did mention same staffing levels and a small increase in wages for officers, Burns wanted to hear specific numbers about how many officers are full time and part time.

According to the budget template online, that number would stay the same for the next three years, authorizing 118 full-time officers and eight part-time officers.

Council members Eric Mays and Monica Galloway said they also were expecting a more detailed breakdown of the proposed budget, but other council members say this is just the first step moving forward.

“We are accepting the budget. We are receiving it. We’re not saying it’s final,” 9th Ward Councilwoman, Eva Worthing said.

3rd Ward Councilman, Santino Guerra agreed, adding, “Receiving this budget just takes the one step forward and that to make council and the public to be aware of that if we don’t like anything here on out, we have that opportunity to try to change it in the future.”

Council will now spend at least ten days looking over the budget. The City requires a public hearing before the budget is adopted.

To check out the entire proposed budget for the 2022 Fiscal Year, click here.

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