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Flint city council takes oath of office, then learns last week's election results have not been certified

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint City Council members took their oaths of office Monday.

But they had to cancel their first meeting after learning their elections had not yet been certified.

In a room filled with friends and family, Flint’s nine city council members took their oaths of office.

But a short time later, Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said they shouldn’t have, because the results of last week’s election have not yet been certified.

“They can’t take office legally until they are certified. That’s what the Board of Canvassers are doing right now,” Gleason told reporters.

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Genesee County Clerk John Gleason

Gleason says a one-vote discrepancy is forcing the delay. It’s not enough to change any of the results in Flint’s city elections. The county clerk says another Genesee County community is also still waiting for the results of its election last week to be certified.

The election should be certified in the next few days.

The stumbling start of a new term for the Flint city council comes as incoming and incumbent members promise to do a better job of working together.

“I think we’re all dedicated to being civil with each other,” said Judy Priestly, one of six first-time members of the Flint city council.

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley is hopeful he and the council will enjoy a “honeymoon period.”

“We have to really resolve a lot of issues and a lot of problems,” said Neeley. “I’m here to work with the council.”

One major issue facing the city is deciding how to spend tens of millions of dollars of federal COVID relief funding.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.