By Tom Travis
The Flint City Council’s Legislative Committee was the only committee to meet on Wednesday night, the day of the week when the council meets, usually outside the council chamber in a side room, to carry out various functions and consider resolutions in subcommittees.
A single resolution about selling and growing recreational marijuana was discussed and voted on. However, a yelling match broke out among council members, and Legislative Committee Chair Eva Worthing (Ward Nine) called the police. All committee chairpersons called off their committees for the night and the meeting was over.
Before that happened, Assistant City Attorney Reed Eriksson was asked by Worthing to explain an ordinance concerning the selling and growing of recreational marijuana.
Eriksson stated the ordinance was an “opt-out ordinance.” On Nov. 1, 2019 the State of Michigan will begin to accept applications for selling and growing recreational marijuana. If the city does not have its own ordinance in place by then, the licenses will be approved for those applying to sell and/or grow recreational marijuana in the city of Flint.
The ordinance before the council Wednesday night would buy time for the city council to craft and develop a comprehensive ordinance suited for the city of Flint. Eriksson stated he believes this ordinance can be done well within the prescribed one-year time frame and even hopefully before the Nov. 1 deadline.
Mays, other members not mellow during pot discussion
Yelling started when Councilperson Eric Mays (Ward One) said he wanted to discuss the recreational marijuana ordinance right there and then. But the rest of the council wasn’t ready to do that and were in the middle of voting for the resolution to be moved to council as a whole.
Eriksson stated that under the current medical marijuana ordinance that has already passed, it is possible to have the recreational marijuana ordinance be implemented at the same facilities.
Mays said that was new information to him and wanted to discuss it, calling a “point of information” to what the attorney was saying. Fields interrupted him and said that wasn’t a real point of information and Mays began yelling.
Worthing called him out of order and asked him to leave. Mays appealed her ruling, Galloway made a point about the appeal, and Mays yelled more.
The First Ward councilman stayed in the room and continued to yell as did other council members. A recess was called and the Legislative Committee reconvened about 15 minutes later.
During that recess Worthing called the Flint City Police to assist in having Mays removed. The police arrived and stood outside the committee room as the committee reconvened.
Mays came back into the committee room as Councilpersons Maurice Davis, Worthing, Allan Griggs, Monica Galloway, and Kate Fields took their seats. Worthing called for a vote on the opt-out ordinance for recreational marijuana to be moved to the next council meeting for its first reading.
Quorum lost, meeting ends, committee disbands
The five council members present voted yes and it passed. Immediately Councilperson Maurice Davis (Ward Two) stood up, protesting that he did not believe a single council person can ask another councilperson to leave a meeting.
He said he believed there had to be a vote of all the council to have someone removed. Guerra and Fields stood up and left the meeting following Galloway. Thus quorum was lost and all the committees disbanded for the rest of the evening.
EVM Staff Writer Tom Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banner: Council members at work, from left, Maurice Davis, Santino Guerra, Eva Worthing, Allan Griggs, Eric Mays (Photo by Tom Travis)