The city of Flint, Michigan, gave pay raises to its city council members and mayor Friday, boosting its mayor’s salary by more than a third from $91,801 to $125,000.
Flint has a per capita income of $16,554, according to Census figures, meaning Mayor Karen Weaver will now be making between seven and eight times as much as an average constituent in the 100,000-person city.
The city is best known for a contaminated water crisis that began after the City Council voted 7-1 to begin supplying water from the Flint River instead of from Detroit. The federal government had to put $100 million toward fixing it after alleged criminal behavior and incompetence by Michigan officials over a period of years.
The raises were proposed by the city’s Local Officers Compensation Commission.
The mayor is angling for the chairman of that commission, Loyst Fletcher, to get a bigger job on the Great Lakes Water Authority board, Crain’s Detroit reporter Chad Livengood reported.
— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) March 20, 2019
The city council could have blocked the proposed raises — which take effect Friday — on Thursday night, but did not.
Councilman Santino Guerra motioned to reject the raises, but councilman and convicted felon Eric Mays objected, saying “Ain’t no reason to vote no,” according to MLive.
Another Councilman, Maurice Davis, said “You get what you pay for… How dare you try and deny the mayor an increase in her pay?”
Multiple other councilmen didn’t show up to the meeting, including council president Herb Winfrey, and another council member left early.
In 2013, Flint citizens elected multiple violent felons to the city council. Wantwaz Davis served 19 years in prison for murder. Mays also pleaded guilty to felonious assault in 1987, MLive reported. Councilman Jackie Poplar, meanwhile, filed bankruptcy a year before first being elected to city council.
Among officials charged over the water crisis, Michigan’s chief medical officer and director of health and human services are facing charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Even though the EPA has given the city $100 million, its citizens are suing the federal government for nearly a billion dollars, charging that the federal government should have forced state officials to do their jobs.
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