Flint, MI– Two Flint city council members called for a special council meeting to be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18, but only two other members showed up.

Councilman Eric Mays and Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter requested the special meeting to discuss the State of Emergency article in Flint City Code as it relates to the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Council President Kate Fields, Council Vice President Maurice Davis, Councilwoman Eva Worthing, Councilman Allan Griggs and Councilman Santino Guerra did not show up for the meeting, so there was no quorum. Mayor Sheldon Neeley was also requested to be at the meeting, but did not show up. 

“It’s not a coincidence that the five that normally votes, in some cases, wrong together, decided to not show up,” Mays said. “And along with the mayor, and I wanted to demonstrate to the public what we’re dealing with, even in the business of COVID-19.”

Councilwoman Monica Galloway said she thought it was “unfair” for the other council members not to show up.

“I think more than anything with the level of increase of the Coronavirus in this time, for this body to not honor two colleagues that are operating under the charter…to me, it is unfair,” she said. 

Section 3-202 of the Flint city charter states that, “the Mayor or any two (2) members of the City Council may call a special meeting of the City Council upon twenty-four (24) hours notice to each City Council member and the public stating the purpose of the meeting.”

On Nov. 17, at 1:45 p.m., notice was sent out regarding the time and place of the meeting, and its purpose for being held. 

Galloway also said she had been reviewing the Open Meetings Act, and that “there was nothing found that said that you had to adjourn the meeting for lack of a quorum.”

“According to the Open Meetings Act…you can have dialogue,” she said. “You cannot do anything actionable. I am not looking to be in violation of anything. That’s my interpretation.”

City Attorney Angela Wheeler said otherwise at this meeting, and told the council that without a quorum, the meeting should not continue. 

Councilwoman Winfrey-Carter said she thought the other members not showing up was “a prime example of what’s been happening.”

“So you know I think we should go ahead and adjourn, and hopefully on Monday, we’ll be able to pick this back up,” she said.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...