Flint mayor-elect talks changes once he takes office

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FLINT (WJRT) (11/06/19) -- What's next for Flint? A new mayor-elect means a new direction, new perspective and new changes for the city.

"This is about the people. It's not about party, it's not about individuals, it's about this community in its totality," Flint mayor-elect Sheldon Neeley said.

One of the first things on Neeley's agenda once he takes office? A moratorium on water shutoffs.

"No water shutoffs in the first 100 days until we get that assessment to figure out where we are with our water. We have two issues with water, water quality and water cost," he said.

Also, the new mayor-elect wants to get a better gauge of where the city is financially and economically.

"We don't know how sick we are unless we go to the doctor to get that physical, and so we're going to be performing a physical on the community itself and figure out where we go next," Neeley said.

One of the ways he plans to do that is by taking a closer look at some of the positions held by city workers. It's not clear if he plans to make any sweeping changes staffing wise, but history has shown when a new mayor takes office, there will be new leadership for certain departments within the city like police and fire.

"We're optimistic," said Local 352 firefighters union president Jake Dorman.

The Flint Fire Department had been backing incumbent Mayor Karen Weaver, but Dorman said he is looking forward to working with Neeley and making sure the needs of the department are addressed.

"Four-man trucks is optimal for us. We don't want to see any stations close. We'd like to have more than one person on a squad on a regular basis as well," Dorman said.

He is holding out hope manpower will increase for the department.

The police union and AFSCME which represents Flint city employees, did not return messages seeking comment on Wednesday.

Time will tell how this new administration will be embraced, but the mayor-elect knows that unity will be the key to success.

"That we're bringing this community back together in its totality so we can move our families forward in this community," Neeley said.

According to the Flint City Charter, the mayor-elect could be sworn in as soon as noon Monday.

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