FLINT, Michigan— Calling partnerships the pathway to success, Mayor Sheldon Neeley said he will focus on building community unity while also doing a full assessment of the city’s finances and well-being.
“Coming together is a start. Working together is progress. Staying together is success,” Neeley said in his remarks today after his ceremonial swearing-in by Judge David Guinn.
Neeley dedicated the majority of his remarks to saying thank you, including a special tribute to his mother Marva Neeley and his wife Cynthia Neeley.
“It’s going to be a different day,” Neeley told the standing-room-only crowd. “It’s a day of unity here for this community. Working together is key to success.”
Borrowing from a Swahili proverb, Neeley said: “Unity is strength, division is weakness.”
Neeley also thanked Dr. Karen Weaver for her service to the city during her term and told members of the Flint City Council that he looked forward to working along side them as a co-equal branch of government.
As part of his pledge to transparency, Neeley has ordered a transitional city audit be conducted in coordination with the State of Michigan and Plante Moran.
Other key appointments announced include:
• Brian Larkin will serve as Neeley’s chief of staff. Larkin is an expert in urban development with experience in city, county and state government as well as philanthropy.
• Fire Chief Ray Barton will remain as head of the Flint Fire Department. Barton has served in this post since 2016.
• Phil Hart will serve on an interim basis as Flint Police Chief. Hart previously served as post commander for the Michigan State Police Post in Flint.
• Tyree Walker will serve during the transition period to assist with human resources needs at the city. Walker is currently vice president of human resources for Hurley Medical Center.