Political analyst says Flint City Council turnover could bode well for mayor

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FLINT (WJRT) - (11/08/17) - Two major things happened as a result of Tuesday's election in Flint: The mayor kept her seat while more than half of the Flint City Council seats changed hands.

What does it all mean for the political landscape in the city, especially with major decisions looming?

The mayor and the council have been at odds for months over the city's long-term water source. Political analyst Paul Rozycki believes the election of first-time council members could change that.

"There's a number of folks who just got elected for the first time. I mean, a number of people -- the first time they've run for office for anything -- and all of a sudden they've run for council and the first big issue is the water," Rozycki said.

Newcomers Maurice Davis, Allan Griggs, Jerri Winfrey-Carter, Eva Worthing and Santino Guerra join incumbents Eric Mays, Kate Fields, Herbert Winfrey and Monica Galloway. Mayor Karen Weaver survived her recall attempt by winning nearly 53 percent of the vote.

"The biggest surprise last night for me was not so much that she won -- that was not a shock -- but to win a majority when you have 18 candidates out there," Rozycki said. "I don't think anybody expected that whoever won would come anywhere close to a majority."

Of the new council people, Griggs said he was eager to get more information about the water source before making his final assessment. Guerra also said that he was eager to get more information before giving a direct response.

Worthing said she is not in favor of the deal as it has been presented.

"I do not believe in a 30-year contract with GLWA (Great Lakes Water Authority) right now. We don't know what the rates will be in the last 10 years, so we cannot do that," Worthing said.

But Rozycki believes a 30-year deal eventually will happen after council members get up to speed.

"With all the new council members it may take them a little while to get up and running, so there may be a little bit of a delay." Rozycki said. "But, my guess is that 30-year contract is more than likely going to happen."

Another pressing issue for the council will be electing a president from among its members. Councilman Eric Mays has made it known he's interested in that position after winning re-election with more than 70 percent of the vote.

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