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Deep divisions threaten government shutdown in Flint

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

On Monday, the Flint City Council will once again try to pass a city budget.

But there’s little hope the divided council will be able to reach an agreement.

Flint’s dysfunctional city council has often struggled with mundane tasks, but the current stalemate over the proposed $71 million city budget threatens to cause a government shutdown.

Some council members are upset the budget does not contain more money for blight removal and public safety. The budget does not include federal COVID relief money.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley calls the council members fighting his budget plan “obstructionists” pursuing “petty politics.”

The city council has already missed a deadline set by the Flint city charter.  

The ultimate deadline is two weeks away. If the city council does not approve a city budget by July 1, Flint would face a government shutdown.

On Friday, layoff notices were sent to Flint city employees in preparation for a potential shutdown. The mayor’s office says city officials are working to ensure that essential services such as public safety would continue to operate even during a shutdown.

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.