FLINT, MI – City workers have been told they could be made redundant due to a deadlock on the city’s budget and the potential for local government shutdowns.
Flint’s current budget expires June 30, and city council has yet to adopt a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 despite the city’s charter requirement to do so no later than the first. Monday in June.
On Monday, June 7, council voted 4-4 on the $ 71 million budget proposed by Mayor Sheldon Neeley with an amendment to the city’s main fee schedule.
Two days later, the members failed to find the six votes needed to reconsider the measure.
“This unprecedented failure to pass a budget endangers the livelihoods of hundreds of employees in the town of Flint,” Neeley said in a statement released by the town on Friday, June 11. “Our team, their families and our community deserve better than the ongoing petty politics and dysfunction that is portrayed by some members of City Council.”
Council members who voted against passing the budget criticized the mayor for not providing them with information and not sending them a resolution accepting the first $ 47 million in COVID-19 relief funds from the federal government.
Although the budget does not include any of these funds, which arrived several weeks ago, council members have prepared more than a dozen amendments to the proposed budget, some of which call for the use of some of these funds. rescue.
Neeley’s proposed budget to the board on March 1 is balanced for the coming year and does not include layoffs, but it projects a declining fund balance and a potential shortfall of over $ 17 million per year from From now.
The Council’s proposed changes to this budget have been many and varied, but include over $ 3 million to fight the scourge in the city; An additional $ 4.2 million for public safety projects and $ 5,000 in payments to essential city employees who worked during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We hope and pray that a budget will be passed, but at this point the city must begin to prepare for a potential closure in the event that a majority of the council continues to disregard its oaths and do not take its pledge. work, ”Neeley’s statement on Friday said
Due to the demands of several union contracts, the city’s human resources department sent notices to all employees on Friday, advising them that a potential government shutdown would require massive layoffs.
According to a press release from the city, officials “are working to ensure that essential services such as public safety continue to function even during a shutdown.”
The city council is expected to discuss the budget again at its meeting on Monday, June 14.
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