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Tensions rise at Flint city hall

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she won’t “get in the mud” with city council members accusing her of acting like “a dictator”.

Council members say they won’t take up any of the mayor’s proposals for 30 days, as a protest to her recent unilateral decisions.

Weaver questions the council’s actions.

“If you want to hold up the city, if you think that’s in the best interest of the people, then that’s on you,” says Weaver. “I’ve got to stay focused on doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

High on the mayor’s agenda right now is deciding who will empty Flint’s trash cans.

The mayor and city council have been at odds for months over which company will get the multi-million-dollar contract.

Weaver favors Rizzo Environmental Services. A majority of the city council wants the current garbage hauler, Republic Services, to keep picking up the trash.

Last week, the mayor terminated Republic’s contract and hired Rizzo. Both companies were picking up trash in Flint on Monday, but a judge issued a restraining order blocking Rizzo’s contract and giving Republic a 14-day deal.

The judge also ordered the mayor and city council leaders to appear in his courtroom Wednesday morning, in hopes of hashing out a deal.

Weaver says she’ll be there.

“I’m not scared to go to court,” says Weaver. “I follow the law. The judge said come and I’ll be there. It’s just like the charter says, 'Give the lowest responsible bid.' So I’m following the law. I’m going to continue to do that.”

The mayor’s office has also asked the Michigan Court of Appeals to weigh in. The appeals court previously overruled the local court when the judge issued a restraining order against the mayor and extended Republic’s contract through November.   

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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