By Tom Travis
Out of 24 applicants, two will be interviewed next Monday, Dec. 5, in an open public meeting, for the position of Flint City Clerk – Angela Guillen and Davina Donahue (currently serving as the Interim City Clerk). East Village Magazine (EVM) has reached out to both candidates but neither has responded.
City of Flint Human Resources (HR) Director Eddie Smith explained to the council in a Nov. 9 meeting that the City’s HR department had received 24 applications and resumes for the position of City Clerk. Smith and his office reviewed each application and eliminated those that did not have the qualifications for the position.
With the retirement of long-time City Clerk Inez Brown in October, Deputy City Clerk Davina Donahue was named Interim City Clerk. On Monday the city council learned that the city’s Human Resources Director Smith had received 24 applications for the position.
In the Nov. 9 council meeting the council held a closed executive session for Smith to present the applications, Councilpersons Eric Mays (Ward 1), Jerri Winfrey-Carter (Ward 5) and Tonya Burns (Ward 6) objected going into closed executive session and stayed in their seats in council chambers while the rest of the council went behind closed doors of the committee room in the rear of council chambers. The three said they thought the discussion should have been an open meeting.
Once out of closed executive session and back to the open public meeting, Smith told the council his staff reviewed each application and eliminated resumes that did not meet minimum requirements. Smith said only two applicants of the 24 resumes met the minimum requirements. The council had earlier agreed the applicants would be given a number and referred to by that number in public meetings. Smith explained the reason for using a number to refer to the applicants was to protect the confidentiality of each applicant. During the meeting the two applicants were referred to as #4 and #9.
During the public council meeting Councilperson Eric Mays (Ward 1) stated that Interim City Clerk Donahue had told him she did submit an application. Mays asked Smith if Donahue was one of the two chosen. Smith refused to say if Donahue was one of the two applicants chosen.
Inez Brown served as Flint’s City Clerk for 25 years, hired in 1997. She had previously been an aide to U.S. Senator Don Riegle.
The council voted 6 to 3 to accept the two applications. Councilpersons Lewis, Murphy, Priestley, Herkenroder, Pfeiffer and Worthing voted in favor while Mays, Winfrey-Carter and Burns voted against the resolution for acceptance of the city clerk applications. At the time of the vote Councilperson Mays abstained but said, “this is a bogus process and not transparent.”
The council will conduct interviews of the two finalists in an open public meeting Dec. 5. The applicants’ names will be revealed then, according to Council President Herkenroder.
EVM Managing Editor Tom Travis can be reached at email@example.com.