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Herbert J. Winfrey – Sixth Ward
Family: Married and I have two young adult daughters.
Education: BA in Sociology, University of Michigan and a MA in Counseling, Liberty University
Occupation: Program Manager, Hope Network, Incorporated
Why do you feel you are a good fit for Flint City Council? I believe in living a life of service. I make it a priority to serve people well. I use the ancient Buddhist technique, mindful listening, as people talk to help me understand the speaker. I research issues seeking information to help me make good decisions. Finally, I believe in a government that is honest, transparent, just and provides efficiency for its residents.
What are the top five issues you want to focus on as a City Council member? A long-term, affordable water source; blight; economic development; community connectedness and stable employment opportunities.
How would you help the city navigate through the water crisis? Navigating the water crisis means being well informed about the issues concerning the water. Also, I pledge to continue to be available to work with all levels of government, to make the best decisions regarding the water for our citizens.
What would your water source recommendation be? I have a few concerns with both water sources (Karegnondi Water Authority/KWA and Great Lakes Water Authority/GLWA) before us now. This councilman is seeking deals that lowers water rates and enables the city to create revenue.
How satisfied are you with Flint’s current administration? I believe the administration deserves credit for sounding the alarm that there is/was a water crisis, advocating for dollars to aide in the crisis. Credit is due for initiating the FAST Start Program.
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? The first thing I would do is create a feasible plan (feasibility study) for investing in other areas of the city. Depending on the results of a study, I would lobby the investors who invest downtown and discern if they are willing to invest in other areas of the city.
A complaint from some millennials is the lack of opportunity in Flint. How would you tackle that issue in hopes of keeping young people in Flint? Keeping millennials in Flint directly relates to economic development and employment. Again, I would endeavor to engage in long-term planning with stakeholders (residents, millennials, university professors, economists and investors)
What is your opinion about blight in Flint and how would you tackle it? Blight is a significant problem. First, enforce the ordinances we have, i,e. heavier fines, followed by summons to court and perhaps jail time for not maintaining property. Also, we should continue to use the services we have now, I,e. Blight Department and the Genesee County Land Bank for maintaining property.
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 will continue to remain available and open to all opportunities to work with the administration and I will continue to encourage my colleagues to do the same.
What are the top three top goals that you hope to accomplish as a City Council member? 1. To secure a stable, long-term, revenue creating water source; 2. To promote and support economic development opportunities and job growth within the city; and 3. address blight in such a way that it is significantly reduced in the City.
If there was one thing you could tell all Flint residents what would it be? A community is what it accepts. I believe that Flint is poised to bounce back. Together, we can tackle our issues. We can get Flint going and maintain its forward movement. But, it must be done together. Let’s go Flint!