By Tom Travis
In an unusual move, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley is hauling the Flint City Council into session at a special council meeting set for 5 p.m. Monday, Feb 17.
In a press release issued by city administration, Neeley said, “It is critically important that city business be completed in a timely manner. This meeting is an opportunity for City Council to catch up and finish the work of the previous meeting so that city business does not fall further behind.”
The most recent City Council meeting on Monday Feb. 10 lasted more than seven hours. Despite all that time in council chambers, the council failed to vote on several time sensitive matters.
Some council members were not present for the meeting, causing the council to break quorum as some council members took breaks for the restroom, smoking and walking around the council chamber. To make quorum, five out of the nine council members must be present and in their seats.
The mayor’s press release stated, in part, “The purpose of the meeting is for City Council to consider 11 items that previously were on its Feb. 10, 2020, meeting agenda. That meeting lasted until after 11 p.m., but ended before City Council members voted on those agenda items.”
The rare step of the mayor calling the council into session is allowed in the Flint city charter, the press release stated, citing Section 3-202:
“The Mayor or any two (2) members of the City Council may call a special meeting of the City Council upon twenty-four (24) hours notice to each City Council member and the public stating the purpose of the meeting.”
As indicated in the press release, the matters the mayor said he wishes the council to discuss are:
“The Bray Road Project – This item authorizes funding for environmental assessments of groundwater at the Bray Road Dump site, where elevated levels of cyanide and mercury were found. This resolution has been on three previous City Council agendas but has yet to be addressed.
“It is also critical for the council to consider a recreational marijuana ordinance. The city’s press release stated that unless City Council passes the ordinance by the end of February, marijuana facilities will be able to locate near schools, parks, neighborhoods, or places of worship at the end of February.”
The special City Council meeting will be held in city council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 1101 Saginaw St.
EVM assistant editor and city council beat reporter Tom Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.