Council and mayor at odds over Flint’s damage claim policy

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FLINT, MI — Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson says he is set to call a special meeting after Mayor Karen Weaver vetoed a resolution to have damage claims $2,500 or more come before council for approval.

“She has been pushing to keep it at $10,000,” Nelson said. “At the end of the day all we’re saying is we are doing our job. I am hoping my colleagues are on board with this. I am going to vote to override her veto…It’s nothing more than being responsible. I have no idea why the mayor would veto this.””

For nearly a month some Flint City Council members have been in talks with Flint’s legal department regarding the city’s damage claim policy.

The council submitted a resolution asking that damage claims $2,500 or more come before council while Weaver’s administration submitted a resolution asking that the limit be set at $10,000 or more.

Council members voted 8 to 1on April 24, 2017 in a city council meeting in favor of the $2,500 or more resolution while Weaver’s resolution never made it past committee.

“I anticipate that the resolution will pass by my colleagues…I call it the Eric Mays (rule),” said Mays of the council’s damage claim resolution. “I don’t think that’s how you should make legislation. I think you should make rules based on what needs to happen.”

Mays, the sole no vote, said he feels the move was made because council members did not support a $4,500 damage claim payout he received last year after being handcuffed and removed from an August 2016 special city council meeting. He received payment in September 2016  for the claim, minus $534.02 he owed in Flint property taxes and a water and sewer debt of $654.47. According to settlement documents the payment was approved by former City Attorney Stacy Erwin Oakes.

Council members did not find out about the settlement until after it was paid.

Nelson said he expects the issue to resurface at the council’s regularly scheduled meeting on May 8, 2017 at Flint City Hall.

According to city charter if the council overrides the mayor’s veto the $2,500 damage claim resolution approved by council members on April 24 should move forward.

 

 

 

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