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Topic: Donna Ashburn-Poplar/City to hire Aonie Gilcreast?
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El Supremo

Flint City Council questions city administrator's hiring practices

Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on March 07, 2017 at 5:30 PM

FLINT, MI -- Flint's city administrator faced scrutiny after human resources officials told council members he circumvented city policy when trying to fill an assistant position.

Flint City Administrator Sylvester Jones put forth a resolution late February asking the council to hire Schuyler Davis as his executive assistant under a professional service agreement. The resolution also asked the council to approve a $20.186 per hour salary for Davis, which was to start on Feb. 3 and end a year later.

However, according to human resource employees, the job's classification called for it to be posted, which is not required of a professional service agreement.

"I was told to take it off and cancel the recruitment," said Tia Lewis, human resources and labor relations generalist for Flint.

Lewis said she had no record that Davis was interviewed or if she had taken the necessary tests for the position.

"If she was interviewed, HR, I was not part of the process," Lewis said.

Flint City Council members questioned Jones' intentions during a committee meeting late last month.

"I'd like to know who you spoke to specifically in human resources that told you this was the avenue you should take," said Flint City Councilwoman Monica Galloway to Jones during the meeting. "

Jones said during the committee meeting that he talked to someone in human resources who said he could fill the position with a professional service agreement, but Jones told council members that he couldn't remember who it was he spoke with.

"We had a couple of conversation about this," said Jones. "From my understanding, the position was, if it was to be classified, it was to be posted. If it was not to be classified, then it was not required to go through that process."

Councilman Scott Kincaid said it was a move preventing others from applying to the position.

"They are taking the posting down and employees in the city of Flint can't apply for that position, and the reason they are doing it is so they don't have to go through the process," Kincaid said of the administration.

Davis has worked for Flint since 2016, but her temporary employment status is set to end.

Jones also said that the position initially came before council in 2016 as an appointment, and the administration was then told it would count against the number of appointees allocated to the mayor. The decision was made to remove the position and now it is back before the council.

"I've spoken to a number of people in HR and this appointment goes ... This happened months ago, I'm not sure exactly who I spoke with ... Our intent is not to circumvent the system," said Jones. "Our intent is to work closely with HR and do things based on HR rules."

The executive assistant to the city administrator job was left open when Sean Kammer resigned in March 2016 during a meeting with Jones and Aonie Gilcreast, who serves as Mayor Karen Weaver's advisor.

City Human Resource Director CharlesMcClendon wrote a letter saying Kammer's job performance was discussed in front of Gilcreast, who is not a City of Flint employee.

Flint City Council members want to know how much influence one of the mayor's advisors has at City Hall.

"Mr. Gilcreast was present, wherein Mr. Kammer's job performance was discussed," wrote McClendon in a May 16, 2016 letter. "The meeting became contentious and resulted in Mr. Kammer resigning that day, March 31, 2016."

Council members put in a number of referral requests, including asking the legal department to provide them with the city's policies on nepotism and cronyism, human resources employee structure and an inventory of appointee positions within the city.

"I think there should ... always be a time when the council looks for (the) truth," said Councilman Herbert Winfrey of Jones' decision. "He's trying to make a point here that he's not trying to override precedence and we should not just walk over that."

The council voted not to move ahead with the resolution seeking to hire Davis. It is not yet known if Jones will continue to seek to fill the position.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:33 pm 
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El Supremo

The council needs to address the form of these PSA's as they did in the past. The City Attorney should know the PSA does not allow for open ended employment. The form usually is limited to $20,000 or a time limit. Schuler Davis worked as a temporary employee since 2016 without going through any process by Human Relations. This is a blatant attempt to circumvent the prescribed employment rules. I have to admit Kincaid is absolutely right. Watch for it a showdown is coming!
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:38 pm 
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El Supremo

Recall language approved to remove Flint Mayor Karen Weaver

Jake May | jmay2@mlive.com

Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com
on March 08, 2017 at 3:12 PM, updated March 08, 2017 at 5:12 PM

Language approved to launch recall efforts against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver

FLINT, MI -- Language has been approved to launch recall efforts against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

The Genesee County Election Commission voted Wednesday, March 8, to approve recall language submitted by Flint resident Art Woodson to recall Weaver over the city's controversial trash issue.

Woodson started his recall efforts late January, but withdrew his first language after saying he met with Weaver to talk about some of his concerns with the administration.

Woodson says promises at the meeting weren't kept, so he moved forward with submitting new language on Feb. 28 to recall the city's leader.

"I'm happy that they allowed us, the people, to be heard, and we were allowed and approved through recall language. Now it's up to us to get the signatures from the residents of Flint and do what we need to do."

Weaver has not confirmed if she met with Woodson, but did say she has Flint's best interest at heart.

"My goal is, and has always been, to do what is in the best interests of the citizens and the City of Flint," Weaver said in a March 8 statement. "I will continue to fight for the people of Flint and do my job for the people of Flint and do my job as I have been since being elected 16 months ago."

To have the recall placed on the ballot, Woodson needs to collect signatures from residents equal to or more than 25 percent of the city turnout from the last governor's election.

City clerk Inez Brown was not immediately available to comment on that total.

This was the fourth time language was submitted to remove Weaver. In addition to Woodson's two submissions, Flint Resident Alex Harris submitted language twice to start recall efforts.

Harris' language was rejected twice by the Election Commission. Harris said he had nothing to do with Woodson's language, but he agrees with the recall efforts.

"It's about time," said Harris of the language approval. "Now there's a proper venue for the citizens of Flint to determine if it should be on the ballot. The language that I presented previously was not given proper consideration. I had a strong objection to the way they handled themselves. I think Judge Barkey in particular, but Barkey, Cherry and Gleason did a great disservice in understanding the recall process."

Genesee County Clerk John Gleason, County Treasurer Deb Cherry and Probate Judge Jennifer Barkey sit on the Election Commission.

"The issue we have to decide is whether the language is clear, whether or not the language is factual...whether the language is true," Barkey said.

Attorney Kendall Williams, who represented Weaver, argued that the contract was non-existent because of a legal technicality regarding a lawsuit against Weaver and her administration and eight Flint City Council members.

"In this particular instance, the petition language is not true," Williams said. "At the time this particular document was prepared there was an order issued by (Genesee County Circuit Court judge Joseph Farah) and the case that was brought by the Flint City Council."

Williams said because of that order the contract was not valid.

Woodson's language read:

"Mayor Karen Weaver, on signed September 22, 2016 signed an emergency waste collection contract with Rizzo Environmental Service(s)," reads the language filed with the Genesee County Clerk's Office on Feb. 24.

His initial language submitted read as follows:

"Mayor Karen Weaver used the emergency purchase waste collection services to give a contract to Rizzo Environmental Service(s), while signing an extension with Republic Waste Services, causing the tax payers to pay two waste collection services."

Woodson, who was threatened with a lawsuit by Rizzo in July 2016, then argued that because a Genesee County judge had an order in place for the city to continue using Republic Waste Services to haul Flint's trash there was no real trash emergency.

In October 2016, it was reported that Rizzo Environmental Services was under federal investigation for bribery and corruption. Since then, at least three officials have been arrested and charged in Macomb and Clinton townships.

Shortly after the October investigation made news, Weaver and the city council settled their ongoing garbage dispute and decided to continue contracting with Republic Services to haul Flint's trash.

Weaver will still be able to appeal the decision in court. If the language makes it through court, Woodson will still have the task of getting enough signatures to move forward with putting Weaver's recall on the ballot.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:14 pm 
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El Supremo

Documents show Flint planned to pay mayoral advisor $120K a year

Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on March 13, 2017 at 7:00 AM, updated March 13, 2017 at 11:18 AM

FLINT, MI -- Efforts have been made to put a key volunteer adviser to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver on the city's payroll since as early as January.

To date, however, those attempts have been unsuccessful.

A series of emails, letters and a professional service agreement show Weaver had plans to hire Aonie Gilcreast as her Chief Adviser with an annual salary of more than $100,000 plus benefits with funds from the state, according to documents obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal from a Freedom of Information Act request.

"The City of Flint has determined a need to bring in one additional staff person/advisor in the Mayor's office to assist the Mayor in handling various Flint water crisis issues and other City operating issues that indirectly occur in the City due to the water crisis," read a Jan. 31, 2017 letter from Flint's Interim Finance Director David Sabuda to State Senior Policy Advisor Larry Steckelberg. "This new advisor (sic) would start employment on the earliest date possible but no sooner than 2/1/2017. Funding would end one year later from date of hire. This position would work at the pleasure of the Mayor."

The Jan. 31 letter does not name Gilcreast but his name later appeared on a resolution, a professional service agreement and a series of emails between Sabuda and Interim City Attorney Angela Wheeler regarding his employment.

Gilcreast, who spearheaded Weaver's campaign, was set to receive $52.50 per hour. Documents show that Gilcreast was to receive an annual pay of $109,200 a year with an employer contribution of $10,800 annually for benefits totaling $120,000.

Flint City Council members want to know how much influence one of the mayor's advisors has at City Hall.

Weaver said in an unrelated Feb. 15, 2016, press conference at city hall that dedicated volunteers need to be paid.

"If we have people that have volunteered their time and played a vital role lets get them," Weaver said. "People who've put that kind of time in I think should get paid... We have a skeleton staff. Our staffing was disseminated as the result of (an) emergency manager and I think the state ought to be helping us rebuild capacity as well."

Other volunteers including Fast Start program Manager Michael McDaniel have been put on the payroll after volunteering to help Flint find solutions for the city's water crisis.

Weaver could not be reached for comment for this story.

Gilcreast, a former club owner who says he still owns rental property in the city, typically comes to City Council meetings with or without the mayor, sits in on committee meetings, has been part of city business including Flint's controversial trash dispute.

The Flint Journal could not reach Gilcreast for comment but in July 2016 he said he was a volunteer for the city.

"I am just a volunteer," said Gilcreast in July. "I'm no different than any other volunteer at city hall."

He declined to elaborate on his role with the city but said he is Weaver's "key" advisor but said he worked as Weaver's campaign manager and helped her win the election.

In addition to being a local businessman, Gilcreast said he has been involved in politics and worked campaigns Flint's first black elected mayor Jim Sharp, former mayor, Woodrow Stanley and Darryl Buchanan who lost the mayor's race to Walling in 2011.

Council members are questioning the use of professional service agreements saying Weaver's administration is trying to circumvent city policies to put people in positions at city hall after they were vocal about not paying Gilcreast.

"This is cronyism," said Councilwoman Kate Fields. "This is cronyism pure and simple. It's bad for the city and the taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for that. If council has anything to do with it the taxpayers will not pay for that with their state tax dollars or their city tax dollars."

Fields put in a number of referrals in 2016 asking what Gilcreast's role is with the city.

A 2016 email from City Administrator Sylvester Jones to Fields said Gilcreast was a volunteer for the city of Flint. He has volunteered as the mayor's adviser for 16 months.

"We know from talking to HR there is a (volunteer) procedure down at city hall," Fields said. "He has to be vetted. Part of vetting is criminal background check."

The professional service agreement was never signed and never made it before Flint City Council for approval.

Council President Kerry Nelson said he did not know a professional service agreement had been drafted for Gilcreast but has said he does not support paying the mayor's advisor.

In addition, Councilman Scott Kincaid says the chief advisor's post duplicates the chief of staff position held by Steve Branch.

"Mayors have always had a chief of staff," Kincaid who has served on the council for more than 30 years. "This has been an appointed staff position. Steve Branch is basically an adviser to the mayor. That's the position that mayors have all had in the past. The administration wants to do professional service contracts for everybody. They are trying to circumvent city policies to put people in positions at city hall."

Council members discussed their concerns with professional service contracts in a March 8, 2016, meeting and also addressed concerns in a February committee meeting regarding a resolution set forth by City Administrator Sylvester Jones to fill an assistant's position.

Gov. Rick Snyder's spokeswoman Anna Heaton confirmed the state got word Weaver wants to put Aonie Gilcreast on the city's payroll.

"Professional service agreements are typically used for temporary positions," said Kincaid.

Gilcreast's three-page professional service agreement outlined details including paying him bi-weekly and giving him limited benefits.

"Never in this lifetime will I ever support an atrocity such as that," said Councilman Jackie Poplar. It makes me wonder are they on drugs ... He's not qualified and she has enough staff and nothing is being done with the staff she has. You have a city administrator, you have a chief of staff and you have you. When is the triangle going to start working."
Post Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:15 pm 
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El Supremo

When Steve branch was hired, the Journal stated it as a new position. I never saw this position in the staff meetings and it is not in the charter. The mayor only gets 10 major appointees and 10 smaller appointees for a total of 20. Actually the proposed Gilcreast role seems closer to the City Manager.
Post Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:25 pm 
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El Supremo

Social media has posted that Joyce McClane, Genesee County Road Commission Director of Purchasing went to the Genesee county Board Meeting to complain about Donna Poplar in her role as Genesee County Road Commission Human resources Director.

MCClane also complained about a $1,000,000 in purchasing that allegedly circumvented the purchasing policy.

Since then, participants on the AC Dumas radio talk show have suggested attacks on Poplar. Polar has been vocal at Flint City Council meetings against the Weaver administration.

Pastor Overton is a fervent supporter of Mayor Weaver. He and his wife Melissa both contributed the maximum $2,000 to Weaver's campaign. He complains about outsiders but his address is in Flint Township and his church is in Monroe.
Mellisa Overton is a bank executive with Fifth third bank in Ohio and directs Community Reinvestment Act funding (CRA).

I keep hearing that Flint is planning another "Black Wall Street" centered in Flint's north end.
Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:58 am 
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El Supremo

Not many people attended the last city council meeting, but those who watched it online and on tv are talking about how our Flint Clerk set the record straight. Council did not approve the Skillman grant because it was not in writing and not explained. My understanding is the grant is for youth activities. Where, how, and is there a match or other requirements.

Council would have been ignoring their obligation for "due diligence" if they passed a resolution with no details on what they were approving.!
Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:33 pm 
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El Supremo

Does the City Administrator even know how to do the job? The Clerk has explained to him about how to do a resolution, but it doesn't always happen. The mayor and her supporters get furious when council follows the policies and procedures of a responsible government body.

Should we kick all of the council out in the upcoming elections? Or are we willing to believe new council will not become rubber stamps and understand how council works.
Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:39 pm 
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untanglingwebs schreef:
El Supremo

This ones for you Numero 407!

United States Disrict Court
Easternn District of Michigan
Southern Division

United States of America vs $57,922.00
Civil No. 91-cv-73819 DT
Judge Horace W. Gilmore

Verified Claim of interest in $57,922.00 UNited States Currency
"I, Aonie Gilcreast, have and do hereby claim an ownership in $57, 922.00 U.S. Currency which constitutes the subject matter of United States v $57,922.00 U.S. Currency, Civil No. 91-cv-73819-DT now pending in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan."
dated and signed August 9, 1991.

Complaint for forfeiture
5) There is probable cause to believe that the defendant currency was the proceeds of an illegal gambling operation which violated laws of the State of Michigan, to wit: MCL 750.301and/302; that this illegal gambling operation involved five or more persons who conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed, or owned all or part of such business; and said illegal gambling had been in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days or had gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day. in violation of Title 18, USC 1955. The facts supporting this probable cause determination include, but are not limited to the following:

a) On July 23, 1987, an FBI informant (FBI-1) told Special Agent Robert D. Coffin that Aonie Gilcrest ran a numbers gambling business in the Flint area. FBI-1 had provoded information on several previous federal affidavits and had never provided any information that had been found to be knowingly false or unreliable.

b) On December 16, 1987, FBI-1 stated that Gilcreast was using a telephone at his residence (at 4322 East Mt. Morris Rd, Mt Morris Twp., Michigan) for betting . Drivers license records and telephone records showed that Aonie and Frances Gilcrest lived at 4322 east Mt. Morris Road in Mt. Morris Township, Michigan.

c) On March 7, 1988, D/S Juhasz, from the Michigan State Police, seized four plastic garbage bags from the curb in front of 4322 East Mt. Morris Road. Inside these bags were found numerous items of evidence, including slips of paper apparently stating daily amounts of bets ("business") placed with numerous numbers of runners (identified by code name) ; amount of winning bets ("hits") for each runner; and the resulting gain or loss. The dATES RANGED FROM "2-15-88 " until "3-5". There were adding machine tapes adding six daily numbers to reach a weekly total. There were slips showing winning numbers for both the Michigan and the Illinois State lotteries. One "week tape" totaled $27,992.10.

d) On march 10, 1988, a search warrant was authorized by United States magistrate-Judge Marc Goldman, Eastern District of Michigan, Flint, for the residence at 4322 east Mt. Morris Road. Seized during the execution of the search warrant were business records, a numbers slip, $57,922.00 in U>S> currency, payroll checks, and numerous other financial documents.

e) The seized gambling and business records were forwarded to the FBI for analysis. The analysis indicated that wagers totaled $27,486.52 on 2/15/88 and 415,199.83 on 2/16/88. In addition a fifty-fifty "split book" was reviewed. Six individuals were identified by initials and code as being agents in this operation. Also, evidence indicated Gil, Diane and Juli were identified as being involved and/or associated with the numbers operation. Latent fingerprint examination revealed that Frances Gilcrest had possessed some of the seized documents.

f) Aonie Gilcrest had been arrested by the Flint Police Department in approximately 1980 for Frequenting a gambling joint.

The United Staes Attorney Stephen J. Markham and Joyce Todd, assistant U.S. Attorney signed the documents requesting forfeiture of the money.

The Civil Cover Sheet also indicated under forfeiture/penalty "625 Drug related seizure/property although other documents did not elaborate.

Consent Judgement of Forfeiture by Judge Nancy G. Edmunds ordered 90% of the currency would be forfeited to the United states of America. Aonie Gilcreast, through his attorney Christopher A. Andreoff, received 10% or $5,792.20.

"The parties further stipulate that as provided in Title 28 USC 2465, the United States and or its agents had reasonable cause for the seizure of defendant currency"
Evil or Very Mad I remember a friend that used to pick up the money for Papa
Post Mon May 15, 2017 12:38 pm 
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El Supremo

Yes it is my understanding that Papa and Gilcreast were once partners in the numbers racket. There was a disagreement and some serious allegations made against Gilcreast by some friends of mine. Far as I know Papa lives outside of Flint and is not involved in any way in this recall. Papa was a dear friend of Bob Leonard's.

Papa and Gilcreast were also partners in a car towing and impound lot under Stanley. Many lawsuits occurred after Stanley pulled their contract. Probably still some bitter feelings.

I remember when Council was questioning if his construction company T & S was involved with some other companies, also located at 2000 N. Saginaw, in bid rigging for city contracts. Supposedly they took turns being the low bidder. I don't remember the outcome.

I wrote a piece involving a NAACP party at Hollywood East and was amazed at how shabby I felt the building was.
Post Mon May 15, 2017 1:22 pm 
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El Supremo

The Puppet is back. This time it is a wooden looking Weaver with her strings being pulled in the Gilcreast Theater.

Word on the Street - Flint

Is Mayor Weaver In Good Hands? - For over a year, speculation has surrounded Mayor Weaver's advisors. Earlier in the month, the Police Chief told Town Hall participants to obey his religion. Last week a circus erupted when Shayne Hodges sent Aionie Gilchreast to stop recall petitions causing Arthur Woodson to insult the Mayor's staff. On Friday, water protectors set up Camp in City Hall, with a paper camp fire. They were offended when Gilchreast refused to acknowledge them. Residents newest concern is the city sending out notices of the threat of home foreclosure due to water bills. These notices had to be sent out by law. Many feel the water credits should not have ended, that water is still not safe, and that the citizens have no strong voice advocating for them except Congressman Dan Kildee. Some residents feel missteps in the Mayor's office are fracturing the community. However, others blame everything on Woodson, saying he is distracting Flint from our water issues and making it difficult for the Mayor and the community to stay focused. They blame him for fracturing the community with the recall. What do you think?
(This cartoon request, and all others are submitted by a Flint resident. To submit your idea, message the page.)
Post Mon May 15, 2017 1:57 pm 
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El Supremo

Word on the Street is one of the new online commentaries on Facebook and a good one. They have stated they have not determined if they will support or oppose the recall.
Post Mon May 15, 2017 1:59 pm 
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El Supremo

Word on the Street - Flint Word on the Street talked to Tom at the State Board of Elections (517-373-2540). He stated that the scenario didn't involve an election and because it was on private property the owner of the market has a right to change his mind. However, he also stated petition gatherers have a right to Freedom of Expression. He explained there may be violations if they are followed, intimidated or prevented from collecting signatures on public property. As far as election intimidation, the following post (below) may be helpful. It was found at (http://www.866ourvote.org/.../voter-challenges-voter...) and their number is 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Word on the Street has not decided whether or not to support a recall yet because:
1)we want to bring unity to Flint
2)we are not sure a new Mayor will be any better
3)the Governor's office, Treasurer's office, and AG office could not tell us whether or not a new democratically elected Mayor would be empowered & rule out a new EM. Anna Heaton, the Governor's spokesperson, told Flint Beat that "there have not been any talks so far of putting another emergency manager in Flint because of recall efforts to remove Weaver," but didn't rule it out. Woodrow Stanley, who was recalled says the situation screams "Emergency Manager."

We hope everybody involved can be civil. Feel free to voice your opinions on Word on the Street and send cartoon suggestions to Word on the Street. We pick one a week. Our goal is to lighten the load through humor and promote dialogue and facts.

Like him or not, Arthur Woodson was given the right by the Board of Canvassers and won the appeal, to collect signatures.Citizens who qualify to circulate petitions, also have a right as a citizen to express themselves in this way.

Like him or not, Genessee County has paid out a six figure sum for retaliation involving Gilchreast already. According to (http://flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?p=79809) Gilchreast was accused of operating illegal gaming between 1980-1988.

Some things to consider:
- A public official should NOT subject any citizen in a disparate manner because of their race, religion, disability, ethnicity, gender or other protected characteristics.
- Campaign literature on a ballot measure should clearly identify who is paying for the material.
- Retaliation against people who express themselves under the law is against the law.
Post Mon May 15, 2017 4:19 pm 
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El Supremo

Weaver says she asked Snyder's aide for state funds to pay embattled advisor

Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com
on May 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM, updated May 24, 2017 at 7:05 AM

FLINT, MI -- Mayor Karen Weaver says she asked a top aide to Gov. Rick Snyder for the money to put her volunteer chief advisor and former campaign manager on the city's payroll.

Weaver, answering questions during a February deposition tied to a civil lawsuit filed by former city administrator Natasha Henderson, said she spoke to Richard Baird, senior advisor to Snyder, and asked for money needed to pay Aonie Gilcreast, whom she described as her chief advisor.

"I said, Rich, I've been trying to get volunteers paid. I've had General (Michael) McDaniel, who volunteered for the FAST Start program. He'd given six months of free service, and we got him on the payroll because we needed him," Weaver testified.

"I said. I've had Kathy Hoffman, who works for Waymire & Associates ... volunteered (her) time for almost eight months. We try -- we need to get these people paid ... I said, I've had Gil volunteering for a year, we're trying to get him paid."

Documents show Flint planned to pay mayoral advisor $120K a year

Documents show Flint planned to pay mayoral advisor $120K a year

A series of emails, letters and a professional service agreement showed Weaver had plans to hire Aonie Gilcreast with an annual salary of more than $100,000 plus benefits with funds from the state, according to documents secured by The Flint Journal from a Freedom of Information Act request.

"I asked them (the state) to pay him," the mayor said in her sworn statement.

Weaver said she never brought up a figure she wanted to pay Gilcreast, who continues to work in a volunteer capacity for the city, and said Baird "came up with an amount and discussed it."

"What did he suggest?" Weaver was asked in her deposition.

"He suggested 120," she said.

Baird denied that he recommended a specific compensation for Gilcreast, according to Anna Heaton, press secretary for Snyder.

Flint's mayor looks to put adviser on payroll using state funds

Flint's mayor looks to put adviser on payroll using state funds

Gov. Rick Snyder's spokeswoman Anna Heaton confirmed the state got word Weaver wants to put Aonie Gilcreast on the city's payroll.

But Baird did advise Weaver that "she could use existing funds granted to the city by the state to hire advisers of her choosing, so long as it was approved by City Council."

Gilcreast said Tuesday, May 23, that the proposal never moved forward because of resistance from the City Council.

"They were complaining about my volunteering (then) said they weren't going to approve the money" either, he said. "It (funding for the position) hasn't come up no more."

MLive-The Flint Journal could not reach Weaver for comment, but in her deposition, she said she needed to build up administrative capacity in the city after emergency managers appointed by the state stripped out important positions in city government prior to her election in November 2015.

The Journal reported in February and March about efforts to hire Gilcreast, including emails, letters and a professional service agreement that detailed those attempts.

Documents obtained by The Journal through the Freedom of Information Act showed that at one time Gilcreast's employment would have cost $120,000 annually.

In addition to being a local businessman, Gilcreast has been in Flint politics for decades, working on the campaigns of former Flint mayors Jim Sharp and Woodrow Stanley.

His wife, Frances, has been a long-time leader of the Flint branch of the NAACP.

Council members have questioned Aoine Gilcreast's qualifications for holding a top administrative position in city hall, but his influence there has been clear.

He's been involved in crucial meetings on behalf of Weaver and in her deposition, the mayor called Gilcreast "my chief advisor," someone who spends about three hours in her office daily and whom she meets with "probably close to every day."

City Councilman Scott Kincaid, in his own deposition in the same case, was asked who Gilcreast was.

"He's the mayor," Kincaid said, laughing at his own remark, according to a court transcript.

"Let me answer it this way: I don't spend a lot of time down in the mayor's office, so I don't know how much time he spends in the mayor's office, (but) I know he is involved in advising the mayor on a regular basis," Kincaid said.

Henderson filed a federal lawsuit May 9, 2016, in Detroit U.S. District Court claiming she was fired from her position after asking the city attorney's office to investigate claims Weaver may have told city staff and volunteers to send potential water crisis donations to an account she and her supporters created rather than a fund managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Henderson was hired to a five-year contract by Earley in February 2015 and given very broad powers through an emergency manager's order to oversee day-to-day business in Flint even the departure of the emergency manager.

She clashed in a power struggle with Weaver, and on Feb. 12, 2016, she was "relieved of her responsibilities" by the mayor, a decision the City Council agreed to a month later.

In her lawsuit, Henderson alleges defamation and claims Weaver wrongfully terminated her in violation of the Whistleblowers Protection Act and the First Amendment.
Post Wed May 24, 2017 8:57 am 
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untanglingwebs schreef:
Word on the Street is one of the new online commentaries on Facebook and a good one. They have stated they have not determined if they will support or oppose the recall.

the guy that runs that is working with the Mayors brother in law that is running for Governor
Post Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:22 am 
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