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Flint, MI– At the last Flint city council meeting before November elections, three members said their goodbyes.
Second Ward Council Vice President Maurice Davis, Third Ward Councilman Santino Guerra, and Sixth Ward Councilman Herbert Winfrey will not be serving on the council after the election on Nov. 2.
Guerra, who was 19 when he was elected to a four-year term on the council, thanked Flint residents for their support in getting him to his position, but also for their constructive criticism.
“I think that there’s been a lot of things that have been done since four years ago, a lot of progressive things. You know the city of Flint has definitely moved forward, overall, as a whole,” he said. “But there’s a lot more things to get done still, so I hope the new council, whenever they get elected, they get sworn in and get right to work, and start working together. Hopefully, we can see some more unity.”
Guerra said it was a pleasure to work with his colleagues, even though sometimes they’ve gotten “frustrated” with each other.
“It’s definitely been, you know, a lot of learning, a lot of getting to know personalities,” he said. “And I know that I’ve seen each and every one of you outside of council meetings, we still hold solid conversations with each other. So I wish you guys all the best of luck in your future endeavors. Thank you, again, my colleagues, to the city staff and all the hours you put in, the members of the administration that are here with us currently and in the past, and to my family and friends to help me get here, and especially to the residents that we represent.”
Davis echoed Guerra’s sentiments about how the council worked together.
“Oftentimes, sitting on this body is gonna put you at odds. You won’t all the time be holding hands and singing Kumbaya,” Davis said. “But at the end of the day we learned each other’s personalities, but we made it. Because, you know, people really depend on us to make the right choice.”
Davis was elected to the council four years ago, and eventually became vice president of the council.
“Whoever wins their seat on Nov. 2, we finally started to operate as a body, because it took about three years, especially for me, to learn what you really should be doing, and how to do it, and how to get along,” Davis said.
Winfrey was appointed to his position on the council in 2015 and then won reelection. He decided not to run for reelection this time around but said it’s been an honor to serve.
“Thank you to all my colleagues and all the other eight wards. I want to thank you for the service that you rendered and certainly for being on this council, for having the wherewithal to get elected,” he said. “It’s been an honor to serve.”
Winfrey said that contrary to what the public may think of the council, it is “such a wonderful group of people.”
“The level of intelligence and the level of smarts that’s on this council, some people wouldn’t believe. I’ve learned a lot and I try to make, not friends, but at least be cordial, wherever I go…but sometimes we slip up. So, I say to all of my colleagues, if I’ve ever said anything or done anything that you felt offended by, I apologize.”
Winfrey said City Clerk Inez Brown was like a “big sister” to him, and thanked his constituents, city staff, and department heads for their hard work.
“I hear a lot of people talk about, ‘well, I was born here, I’ve been here all of my life.’ Well, I haven’t been here all my life. I chose to come to Flint because of the things that I’ve read about, and because of things that I’ve heard about it so I’m here now,” he said. “I’ve served, and I thank God for the opportunity.”
The city council general election is on Nov. 2. Leading up to election day, the city clerk’s office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to receive and process absentee ballot requests.
The deadline for the city clerk’s office to receive an absentee ballot request is Oct. 29, at 5 p.m. The office will also be open on Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to issue absentee ballots over the counter.
The final deadline for voters to return an absentee ballot to the clerk’s office is Nov. 2 by 8 p.m. Absentee ballots received after the deadline date cannot be counted.
The city clerk’s Office is located at Flint City Hall on the second floor, at 1101 S. Saginaw St. The office can be reached by calling (810) 766-7414.
For information about the candidates, you can find our election coverage here.