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Flint city council to take up court merger proposal

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Flint city council holds a special meeting this afternoon to discuss a plan to merge two local district courts. 

68th District Court covers the city of Flint. 67th District Court covers the rest of Genesee County. 

Under the merger plan, the 68th District would become a division of the 67th District. The merger would save the city of Flint more than $8 million over the next ten years. 

The Genesee County Board of Commissioners has already signed off on the deal. 

But last week, the Flint city council balked.  

Several members express concern about the makeup of future juries. They would prefer to see Flint cases have juries picked from Flint residents. But if the districts merge, future juries would be made up from people across Genesee County.

The council is also concerned about the fate of some court employees.

Councilman Scott Kincaid supports the merger.

“In these situations we need to look at what is best for our community as a whole,” says Kincaid. “This community needs to start thinking about the bigger picture to be more inclusive.”

If the Flint city council rejects the plan, they’ll have 7 days to come up with an alternative plan that will save the same amount of money.  

Then it will be up to the state to review both plans and make the final decision.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.