FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) - (05/31/2018) - Flint's Chief Financial Officer is expressing concern after the city council made big changes to Mayor Karen Weavers 55.8 million dollar budget proposal.
And more changes may be on the way.
Thursday evening we attended a special finance committee meeting where council members stood their ground on amendments voted on Wednesday evening.
"This body is hell bent on putting us back from where we going and that's what's frustrating Councilman Davis ma'am," said Maurice Davis.
The Ward 2 councilman didn't hold back at Thursday's special finance committee meeting.
Five council members voted for amendments to the Mayor's budget he doesn't believe are necessary as they prepare to adopt the first budget after returning to home rule.
"Why do we have a chief financial officer when we don't hear his advice," he asked.
Flint's CFO Hughey Newsome issued a statement Thursday which reads in part, "it is troubling to see such a large amount of money taken away from the operating budget of departments that serve the residents, in order to fund additional wages and operating benefits to those associated with the office of City Council."
Amendments to the Mayor's proposed budget include a $20,000 pay increase for the city clerk, the addition of a deputy clerk, a parliamentarian, and full health benefits for city council members.
"I know Miss Brown needs a raise, I'm for that, but as far as a parliamentarian, come on," exclaimed Ward 5 Council member Jerri Winfrey-Carter.
Five council members, including Monica Galloway, felt the city clerk, who did not ask for a raise, needed one:
"The $20,000 for the clerk, is a restoration," she said.
Galloway said every department head in the building makes $90,000 dollars.
"The clerk, who supports everybody in this building, and everybody in this community, makes $70,000, and has made $70,000 for a long time," Galloway added.
While Finance Committee Chair Eric Mays did not vote for the amendments added on Wednesday, he said he's OK with moving money around and plans to offer up amendments at Friday's meeting involving police, economic development, and blight:
"I will fight hard to put more police on the street," he said. "I don't think residents should have to wait when they dial 911.'
All of the proposed amendments will be voted on by the full council on Monday, which is also the deadline for adopting the budget.
After that the Mayor has seven days to decide if she will veto the budget, if she doesn't, it will stand.
Mays said the council can also do budget amendments throughout the year.