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Flint asks for Secretary of State's help with November election after city clerk announces retirement

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown (file photo)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint City Clerk Inez Brown (file photo)

Flint’s long-time city clerk is resigning, and that’s throwing the city’s plans for the November election into disarray.

Inez Brown has been Flint’s city clerk for 25 years. But at Wednesday night’s city council meeting, Brown announced she would be stepping down at the end of the month.

“I want you all to know how much I appreciate this opportunity to work for my hometown,” Brown said.

She did not give a specific reason for the timing of her retirement.

The clerk’s office oversees elections in Flint.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley said he’s reached out to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office for help running the city’s elections

“We’re asking for assistance up to oversight — making sure this process and this transition is smooth for this upcoming, and very important, election,” said Neeley.

Neeley said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson plans to meet with local officials and stakeholders September 28 to discuss what needs to be done.

A Secretary of State spokesperson said they will have discussions with Clerk Brown and city officials.

“Flint voters can be confident that their elections will be run securely and accurately and that all valid votes will be counted,” said Angela Benander, the Secretary of State office spokespeson.

City Councilwoman Ladel Lewis said she expects the council will meet soon to discuss appointing an interim city clerk.

Inez Brown’s tenure of Flint city clerk has included some controversy.

In 2015, Brown was criticized when her office gave the wrong date for mayoral candidates to file petitions to appear on the ballot.

In 2020, Flint pastors complained about how the clerk’s office was handling absentee ballot applications.

Brown became the city's clerk in 1997.

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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