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Is Flint City Council dysfunction hurting the city? Council members offer differing opinions

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 11:40 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - It’s been seven months since it was announced that the city of Flint would receive $99 million in federal funding as part of the American Rescue Plan.

In late May, the city received it’s first half of that stimulus money $46 million, but it remains unspent five months later. As expected, council members have different explanations for the hold up.

“We tried to allocate $4.1 million for crime prevention, police services, cameras, personnel $3.1 million for blight, equipment and cleaning up. We tried to allocate money for essential worker pay, you got 528 employees,” said First Ward Councilman Eric Mays.

“Well, we’re still looking for a legal opinion on if council can make a motion to allocate those funds. I am not sure if it’s something that council can do individually or if it’s a package plan that’s presented by the mayor’s administration, and then council then approves or disapproves of that plan,” said Ninth Ward Councilwoman Eva Worthing.

Public safety, blight, infrastructure, neighborhood development and job creation are some of the areas city leaders hope to address with the money. Council members point the finger at each other and Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s administration as the reason for the lack of movement.

“Well, there’s a lot of little things that we end up not getting to based on the makeup of this council, but the ARPA funds is one of those issues,” Worthing said.

“They are looking four or five counsel people who want to make personal attacks that we have to defend ourselves against. They’re not looking at the four or five that periodically has tried to move business forward,” Mays said.

Both Worthing and Mays were asked if it is possible for City Council to work together as a governing body to do what’s in the best interest of Flint and it’s residents.

“Yeah, you can get it done without the name calling, but you have to look at where it originates from. Who is calling and who is responding,” Mays said.

“I feel the council as a whole as a stain on the community. I think that there are members that are there just to obstruct, cause chaos and get their personal bidding done -- and have forgotten about the citizens,” Worthing said.

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