Joyce Ellis-McNeal

Age:     62

Family: Married

Education: Masters of Public Administration, BS – Business Administration/Organization Management, Associate – Computer Technology

Occupation: Self Employed

Why do you feel you are a good fit for Flint City Council?

I possess the public administration skills to supervise the administrative officers, formulate policies and the necessary characters to exercise city powers. I have the necessary interpersonal skills and experience that permits me to devote my official time to the problems of basic policy. As a public administrators and grass root leader, I am very capable in providing the duties of liaisons between the city and general public.

What are the top five issues you want to focus on as a City Council member?

  1. Moving the City of Flint community from the Water Crisis to participants in Community Resilience. Resilient communities minimize any disaster’s disruption to everyday life and their local economies. Resilient communities are not only prepared to help prevent or minimize the loss or damage to life, property, and the environment, but they also have the ability to quickly return citizens to work, reopen businesses, and restore other essential services needed for a full and timely economic recovery.
  2. Develop and relationship with every council person and Mayor in reducing water rates for our residents. Water is a human right issue, therefore, must be affordable. We must also look as other models how to make water affordable to all.
  3. Tax incentives are necessary for revitalization of urban cities, however, we the council must create an addendum to these tax incentives whereby, we do not repeat the same mistakes from the past.
  4. Focus on Water Rates Reduction for citizens
  5. Build strong relationship with council and the community

How would you help the city navigate through the water crisis?

Community Resilience is one of the procedures can be used to navigate through the water crisis. However, the public officials must ensure that all residents have equal access to information that impacts their lives.

What would your water source recommendation be?

As of October 23, 2017, the judge requested water source must be approved by the city councils. It is my understanding that a monthly penalty is being accessed until a decision is made. In my opinion, there should have been a special vote by the residents of Flint. Furthermore, I do not have the necessary documents; neither do our citizens to make this decision.

How satisfied are you with Flint’s current administration?

The Flint’s current administration consists of many entities. However, maybe the “New” Charter will make a difference. I am very dissatisfied how our council members demonstrated professionalism in the public.

Millions of dollars have been poured into the development of downtown Flint. How would you develop other areas of the city and what areas do you think need more focus?

Ward 8 is a very unique ward. A large section of Ward 8 is beginning and is suffering with Blight and lacks of funding to help our citizen maintain their property. Due to the economic conditions and retirees in this area, we need a better plan to help our resident maintain their property, without discrimination based upon retiree’s income. We must invest in high tax-based area immediately.

Revitalizing downtown is the success to moving Flint forward, however; we must not focus on one side of the city. There is enough funding to create a better 8 ward for small business and residents.

A complaint from some millennial is the lack of opportunity in Flint. How would you tackle that issue in hopes of keeping young people in Flint?

The City of Flint has a moral and ethical responsibility to bridge the Digital Divide Gaps within every community. This will give millennials access to a fast-growing global and international market whereby, they can explore and birth new creation.

The City of Flint should be one of the first major cities to implement “Call-Center” jobs opportunities. This will be an excellent for promoting our college town youth. Also, broadband towers are necessary for keeping our youth within the city.

Ageism is a problem for most urban cities in the revitalization process. There is a lack of opportunities for all who want to work. Many mid-age residents are raising a younger generation of children; therefore, we must utilize all the resources that include that generation. I am offering Baby Boomers Workshops for the mid-agers.

What is your opinion about blight in Flint and how would you tackle it?

The AmeriCorps (NCCC) team was working with the City of Flint-Blight Elimination Division from May 8 to June 29. The team of nine provided good works. However, a special Blight Task Force should be implemented and have a target goals for every ward in Flint. The target goals will be to eliminate a certain amount of properties that are abandoned or non-repairable. These Federal Funds also could be used to repair homes that are repairable (these can be used as revenues).

Blight is not the problems, it the people behind the system.   We must think of a more precise and strategic plan. Once again, using other models from Urban Cities will be a plus in the success of addressing blight in Flint.

How would you build better communication with the administration in hopes of unifying the two bodies to work for the betterment of the Flint community?

I have been trained through Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce in understanding the role of leadership and the tools needed to be effective in communicating between two or more entities. I received a Certificate in Leadership Shared Services Alliance. This training along with extensive learning and training in Public Administration with be the strength of our city council. Furthermore, certification in Citizen Planner, which involves understanding planning and zoning will increase a very strong and positive relationship with others.

What are the top three top goals that you hope to accomplish as a City Council member?

  1. Reduce water rates
  2. Job opportunities for all citizens
  3. Bring moral and ethics back to the council, which promotes community engagement

If there was one thing you could tell all Flint residents what would it be? I will always be reachable and approachable.