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Flint, MI–Flint city council members voted to elect Kate Fields as the new council president, and re-elect Maurice Davis as council vice president.
Fields and Davis each received five votes.
“I would like to thank my colleagues for their support. The job of being council president is not always an easy job, and I would like to also thank my predecessor for serving as council president,” Fields said. “I have confidence that we can find ways to better serve and represent the citizens of the city.”
Fields, who has served on the city council since 2016, said the council needs to work to ensure meetings are “efficient, effective, and professional.”
This meeting lasted five and a half hours and the only thing the council accomplished was electing a president a vice president. The council also listened to public comments, and then voted not to go into an executive session to discuss the water lawsuit settlement. Once that decision was made, Fields called for moving the rest of the agenda items to a future meeting on Thursday at 5:30.
City Clerk Inez Brown chaired the meeting until Fields was elected president, but it took an hour for the council to come to a vote.
Councilmembers argued over whether there could be a public hearing before the vote, but Brown ruled that the vote had to come first.
Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter and Councilman Eric Mays spoke in support of allowing a public hearing before the vote to have the public weigh in on the organization of council, but other council members said they felt it violated the charter.
After the vote for president and vice president, Mays made a motion to elect former council president Monica Galloway as finance chair, but the motion failed.
Although multiple council people spoke highly of Galloway’s ability to serve as finance chair, the council voted to allow the council president the opportunity to appoint committee chairs without a vote, as previous council presidents have.
Davis said he thought Galloway was an “excellent choice,” and voted in favor of appointing her, rather than letting Fields appoint someone independently.
“I think that will be an awesome choice, Mrs. Galloway. She has expertise,” he said. “I know Mrs. Galloway is more than capable.”
Galloway said she was surprised Mays moved to appoint her but said she was interested in the position. Still, she voted to let Fields appoint someone herself.
“I would do everything within my power to move this community forward,” Galloway said. “I love this community. I serve on this council because I love this community.”
Fields said that “while Mrs. Galloway has financial expertise,” she would like time to think about who should be appointed to the position and requested council members submit applications and discuss their interest with her.