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Flint City Council fails for the second time this week to pass a budget for upcoming fiscal year

Possibility of a government shutdown becoming more real if City Council can’t approve a spending plan by the end of the month
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 11:07 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (06/09/2021) - More than 4 more hours in session, and nothing to show for it.

For the second time this week, Flint City Council has failed to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, violating a deadline mandated in the Flint City Charter.

Now, the possibility of a government shutdown is becoming more real if City Council can’t approve a spending plan by the end of the month.

Following a nine-hour meeting on Monday night that ended around 3:00 on Tuesday morning, Flint City Council failed to adopt a budget the first time, missing their deadline by the first Monday in June, putting City Council in violation of the Flint City Charter and facing a possible lawsuit against the city.

“Anybody with common sense knows that there has been a great deal of dysfunction on this Flint City Council,” one Flint resident said during Wednesday meeting’s public speaking portion of the meeting.

We received a statement from Mayor Sheldon Neeley on Tuesday, saying it’s unfortunate that City Council has again been overrun by its lowest common denominator.

“When he said, the lowest common denominator, he meant you, Mr. Mays,” 9th Ward Councilwoman Eva Worthing said during the meeting.

1st Ward Councilman, Eric Mays responded, “Are you 100% sure that I’m the lowest common denominator, and he was referring to me? Have you had the conversation with him?”

“Yes I have. I am 100% sure,” Worthing said.

Rather than uniting to get the budget passed, council spent the first half hour continuing to point fingers

“Mrs. Fields is a low common denominator. Probably the most highest absentee. Mr. Guerra was appointed by Mrs. Fields to be the Finance Chair. He missed the meeting when it came time to vote. Low common denominator,” Mays said.

Nearly four hours into the meeting, when it came to reconsidering to adopt the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, council didn’t have the six votes needed to take up the vote.

“I don’t know what people are trying to achieve by obstructing the passage of this budget. I really don’t know,” Council President Kate Fields said.

Violating the City Charter is concerning for council members, but the greater threat is if the budget is not passed by the state’s June 30th deadline. Flint faces a possible government shutdown since the city is not allowed to spend money that it hasn’t budgeted.

Flint City Council has another meeting planned on Monday, where they’ll try for a third time to pass the budget.

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