HOLIDAY: Flint City Council pay similar to other Metro Detroit cities



(The Center Square) – A city is only as good as its public servants from the clerks answering the phones, to the city council members crafting budgets and solving constituent problems and the mayor signing or vetoing items.

Flint’s Second Ward City Council member Ladel Lewis in a June 2 Facebook post called for the city with 75,000 residents to bump councilmembers to full-time status.

“Flint has FULL TIME PROBLEMS and needs a FULL TIME COUNCIL WITH STAFF to effectively serve this city. Period. If you don’t agree with that, you’re a part of the antiquated problem in our city.”

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley makes $125,000 annually, while part-time city council members make $24,000.

Most other city councils in similar-sized cities provide part-time work with part-time wages, according to records requests filed by The Center Square.

The city of Southfield, population 76,000, pays their city council similar wages. Most of their city council makes between $21,416 to $24,013, while Mayor Kenson Siver makes $57,936.

Ann Arbor, often voted the best city in Michigan, has a population of 121,536. Council member gross pay ranged between $2,943 and $24,618 in 2022. Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor made just over $48,000, according to records requests.

In Lansing, Michigan, population 113,000, the city council earns between $26,356 and $27,335. Lansing Mayor Andy Schor makes about $140,010.

Troy, population 85,000, paid its city council members $175 monthly, or $2,260 annually plus necessary expenses in 2021.

What’s the danger of paying public officials too much, or giving them city-issued vehicles or power over something like the police budget?

Sometimes, public officials abuse their power. For example, DuVarl Murdock, the former chief of staff of Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, was arrested for drunken driving on Sept. 5, 2021 after he fell asleep at a green light, assaulted an officer and nurses trying to draw blood, and threatened to use his perceived political power to get away with drunk driving.

The police report obtained through record requests notes:“DuVarl made numerous references to me knowing who he was, in an apparent reference to his position with the City of Flint Mayor’s Office, and how he knew my command staff,” the report said. “His insinuations and references appeared to be an effort to coerce or intimidate me from completing my duties and obligations.”

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