Flint, MI– Flint City Council unanimously voted to resume committee meetings on the Wednesday prior to council meetings.
The council voted to suspend committee meetings last March in light of COVID-19. The idea was that they would reduce the workload of the council administrators by having fewer meetings.
Council President Kate Fields proposed reintroducing committee meetings at Monday night’s council meeting. This is also something Councilman Eric Mays has been saying the council should do for several months.
Committee meetings allow the council to direct questions and concerns to the appropriate administration about agenda items, before voting on them in the regular city council meeting.
Without committee meetings, council meetings have tended to go on for seven or eight hours, often getting recessed after midnight and continued on another day of the week to finish city business.
“You’re trying to do committee work in a regular council meeting, and they go longer, because I’m not gonna vote on nothing that’s not properly vetted,” Councilman Mays said.
Fields said the council is not doing their best work when meetings go on for that long.
“No one thinks clearly or makes any sense when they’re exhausted,” Fields said. “And after a six- or seven-hour meeting, which is normally pretty contentious, I don’t think anyone is really…able to do their best work.”
Monday’s meeting went on for eight and a half hours, and multiple agenda items were postponed until the council could discuss them with the appropriate administration.