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New Flint city council in the 'spotlight'

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown administers the oath of office to the new Flint city council members.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint City Clerk Inez Brown administers the oath of office to the new Flint city council members.

“I do solemnly swear,” intoned City Clerk Inez Brown, as she led the nine members of the Flint city council through their oath of office.

The new city council were sworn in today at noon. Five of the nine council members are new to the job.  Last week, Flint voters ousted a majority of incumbents from the panel.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver suggests voters wanted the new blood on the council to move beyond old arguments.

“They said they wanted change. They want to see good things happen to this city,” Weaver told reporters after the swearing in ceremony. “They also said the spotlight is on us.”

The spotlight’s glare is brightest on the question of Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since October of 2015,  after shutting off the tap from the Flint River. 

The old city council tied up a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority since April. Their main concern focused on the potential of rising water bills. But most of those council members lost their seats in last week’s election.

Several of the new council members support staying with GLWA, but others are hesitant.

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing next week on a state motionto give Mayor Weaver the authority to sign the GLWA contract without council approval.

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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