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Flint voters to decide if they want to change their city charter

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint voters will decide on Tuesday if they want to make changes to the way their city government works.

Five of the six charter amendments on the ballot would make changes that few casual observers of Flint city government would notice: eliminate the city's civil service commission, consolidate some city offices, eliminate the ombudsman office, reduce the number of mayoral staff appointments, andinstitute tighter budget controls.

But one proposal could initiate major change at Flint city hall.

That proposal would create a charter commission. The commission could rewrite Flint’s charter and greatly change how Michigan’s seventh-largest city is run.

The commission could conceivably propose dumping Flint’s strong mayor form or government and turn the reins of day-to-day power over to a city manager. The commission could also expand or reduce the size of the city council and change the way council members are elected.

Any changes would need to be approved by voters.

Flint is currently being run by emergency manager Darnell Earley, who is the latest in a string of emergency managers to oversee the city of Flint since 2011.

The city’s financial situation remains uncertain.

Earley’s appointment expires next spring.  

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.
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