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Flint City Council possibly operating illegally without president

One member of Flint City Council claims they have been operating illegally involving the removal of council president, according to their city charter.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - One member of Flint City Council claims they have been operating illegally involving the removal of the council president, according to their city charter.

“We did remove the president and according to the city charter, we’re supposed to elect another president,” said Flint City Councilwoman Tonya Burns.

Within 30 days is how Burns interprets the city charter. She does not think city council is governing by the book.

Burns said city council has operated without a president since April 11. According to the charter, the city clerk shall preside until the city council has chosen a president.

Burns said that has not happened.

“The charter doesn’t speak to an interim president. That’s where the legal questions I believe that the residents have. Are we operating per the charter? And it’s a big issue for residents. I mean they voted for the charter, residents want us to abide by the charter, and we have a responsibility to do that,” Burns said.

Flint City Councilman Eric Mays, who was voted out as president earlier this year, said the city council is still operating under a president.

“I am the president until November of this year unless they go through the proper procedure by charter to remove the president,” Mays said.

Mays, who plans to file an injunction in court on Monday, said he was denied due process.

“There must be a public hearing, noticed and published ahead of time, giving the public an opportunity to weigh in before you can remove an elected or appointed person. That did not happen,” Mays said.

For her part, Burns wants to see her colleagues resolve this issue and get back to serving residents of the vehicle city.

“It’s not a good look for us to be in this gray area. If we removed him properly, then we need to make the proper steps to elect a new president. If we didn’t remove him properly, then reinstate him to remove him properly or put the vote up. Let’s do it correctly so we’re not operating outside of the confines of the charter. Because right now we are,” Burns said.