Mayor Neeley Addresses the State of the City

Mayor Sheldon Neeley took to the stage at the renovated and restored Capitol Theatre in Downtown Flint to deliver his third State of the City address, the first to be delivered in-person since the beginning of he Covid pandemic.

The ongoing thrust was the same theme that Mayor Neeley has put forward since his original election in 2019.  The theme is recovery from crisis to the ongoing renaissance of the city moving forward into the future.

“We’re making sure that residents have an affordable safe quality water coming to their homes,” Mayor Neeley said. “Now we look to the cost of water and now we need to focus on how we can reduce cost and this essential service that we provide as a municipality. I believe we have that as a human right and we’re going to work toward that goal moving forward.”

Crime control was another major talking point. Neeley says the city plans to make a strong effort including a gun buyback program.

He also said the Flint Police Department will aggressively seek out new recruits, install a Cold Case Unit and develop a witness protection program.

“If we’re asking you to participate in crime suppression by giving us information, we have a responsibility to make sure you’re safe,” Neeley said.

“The example that we need to provide as a community to suppress crime and to be able to educate everybody in our community young and old,” Neeley said.

The Mayor also mentioned a goal to make more jobs available in Flint as well as building a new state park in Flint, the first in Genesee county.

Other notable talking points were made about the planned future of the Buick City property and how its clean-up and renovation will provide up to 3,000 jobs in Flint in the near future rather than remaining a vacant eyesore blighting the city’s north side.

When speaking of the city budget, the mayor said his administration had to correct some failures of the past and work with leaders to get dollars from the state, which helped shore up the city’s budget and address legacy costs.

“Because of that infusion, it gave us about $8 million to $11 million in our upcoming new budget that we can use to provide essential services to the citizens of Flint,” Neeley said.

The Mayor also stressed the need for citizens of Flint that they should not depend totally on government to solve all of Flint’s ills. He reminded all that “We have to learn how to work together better …,” Neeley told the crowd at a special meeting of the Flint City Council in the Capitol Theatre.

“Together, we are strong.”

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