Flint city council misses deadline to pass budget after 9 hour meeting

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The Flint City Council has failed to pass a budget for this upcoming fiscal year, putting them in violation of their city charter.

Even after a marathon of a council meeting Monday night -- lasting nine hours -- the Flint City Council ended up failing to amend or adopt the $71-million budget proposed by Mayor Sheldon Neeley.

“Well I have to tell you that it’s three o’clock in the morning and I am leaving,” said Flint City Council President Kate Fields.

During the meeting, Flint city councilmembers went back and forth arguing about the proposed amendments to the city budget and whether to accept or amend the more than $47 million dollars in COVID-19 relief funds.

“I don’t have the energy or whatever to look it up Ms. Galloway,” said Fields.

“And you didn’t acknowledge your colleague either,” said councilmember Maurice Davis, second ward.

“You interrupted me, if you’re tired then go home and we can work it out when you leave. We usually do,” said councilmember Eric Mays, first ward.

Arthur Woodson, a Flint resident, stayed up to watch the entire meeting hoping for a resolution that never came.

“It’s sad that people look at us as a clown show,” said Woodson.

Around three in the morning the board tried to take a vote. However, it was 4 to 4, since one of the council members didn’t answer during roll call.

Janell Johnson, administrative secretary in the city clerk’s office, said, “Well I don’t know where Mt. Guerra is but the vote is four yes and four no.”

Fields said, “So it fails.”

Woodson said he’s disappointed and things have got to change.

“Going to sleep on council, leaving the meetings when the meeting is going on, not showing up to the meetings and then you come in and bicker back and forth. I mean enough is enough,” said Woodson.

Fields schedules a special meeting on Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 specifically for the budget.

Councilmember Guerra told A-B-C 12 that he was unable to answer because after several hours his phone went out, and that the decision for the budget should have been made well before midnight when city charter was due.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley says in a statement that...

“The City Council has had more than two months and more than 20 meetings to consider our proposed budget.

The permanent obstructionists and dysfunctional Council members have failed us all by their constant pursuit of petty politics.”

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