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Transparency, ethics main goals of Flint's new city charter proposal

Feb 17, 2017

Members of the Flint Charter Review Commission release a draft of their recommended changes to the document.
Credit STEVE CARMODY / Michigan Radio

The City of Flint is considering changing its charter, which could change how city government operates, taxes and more. It could stiffen ethics rules and change other rules to make city hall more transparent.

The Flint Charter Review Commission is proposing the changes. Cleora Magee chairs that commission and she joined Stateside to discuss.

Magee said the main goal of the new charter is to improve ethics rules, and to put measures in place to enforce those rules. It also has provisions for citizen input and public comment. In addition, if passed, city elections for mayor and city council could move to the same years as gubernatorial elections to encourage voter turnout.

“We didn’t want to be divisive,” said Magee. “We didn’t want divisions within the city.”

Some of the new provisions in the charter are a direct response to Flint’s experience under emergency management, Magee said. For example, state appointees must meet certain criteria to run their appointed office.

The charter is open for public comment from Feb. 6 through March 6. The Commission is hosting an event on Feb. 25 to meet with citizens to review the charter, which you can view online here.

“We want to be transparent, we want people to know what’s in the charter before they go to the polls,” Magee said.

The attorney general’s office will receive the charter on March 8 and will have three months to review it. Magee hopes it will be on the ballot for a public vote in August.

Listen to the full interview above.

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