Flint City Council approves Weaver's staff appointments - WNEM TV 5

Flint City Council approves Weaver's staff appointments

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Timothy Johnson (Source: Facebook) Timothy Johnson (Source: Facebook)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Flint's city council approved Mayor Karen Weaver's staff appointments.

The council voted 8-1 on March 14 to approve Sylvester Jones Jr. as the city administrator.

Rodney Branch was also named chief of staff at Monday's meeting.

"I am happy the members of City Council are on board to partner with me in making these needed transitions in the office structure of the mayor. It's a configuration that will benefit out citizens and our effectiveness as a city," Weaver said.

In February, the city council appointed a new police chief and a new fire chief.

Timothy Johnson was appointed as the new police chief. Raymond Barton was appointed as the new fire chief.

Johnson promises to restructure police.

"I'm going to immediately implement common-sense reforms, putting the focus back on crime fighting and not on political turf," Johnson said.

Before the vote, one council member expressed her reservations about the choice saying she didn’t know much about Johnson.

When Johnson was asked to approach the microphone to speak on his behalf, dozens of residents and Flint police officers, including the president of the police union, followed him to the podium showing they were familiar with him, his work and experience, and they were in favor of him being their new leader.

In a press release from the mayor's office, Johnson said it was a good feeling to have that moment. 

“I knew I had the support of the citizens. They will be proud of the police service they are about to get. I’m used to working with less,” Johnson said.

Fire Chief Barton wants more mutual aid with other departments.

"I started in '87 with 10 stations, and like 287 firefighters," Barton said. "We're down to less than 65 firefighters, and we have three stations opened on a daily basis. So we’ve got to reach out to the other counties and work together."

Johnson, Barton and Jones succeed James Tolbert, David Cox and Natasha Henderson, who were fired in February.

Mayor Karen Weaver said in a press release she was pleased to have the council's support for these positions.

"It's always best when we're making decisions for us, about us," Weaver said.

The Flint Receivership Transition Advisory Board must now approve the appointments.

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