Mayor Sheldon Neeley denounces Council President’s mistreatment of City Clerk Inez Brown

FLINT, Michigan—Mayor Sheldon Neeley today is denouncing Council President Monica Galloway for her treatment of City Clerk Inez Brown during the Flint City Council meeting on May 26, 2020. Ms. Galloway repeatedly talked over, interrupted and spoke condescendingly to Clerk Brown for 8 minutes until other Council members intervened.

“You’re the chair; you’re not the dictator. You’re out of order, madam president. You are disrespecting the clerk,” Vice President Maurice Davis said during the meeting to intercede on the clerk’s behalf. Ms Galloway rejected his point, but the rest of City Council stood firm and successfully overrode her decision.

Ms. Galloway explained her behavior to her fellow Council members with a flippant and ageist response: “I am challenged with working with Ms. Brown from time-to-time, and I have to talk to people who help me work things through,” Council President Galloway said. “It’s like working with your grandmother.”

Mayor Neeley said Ms. Galloway’s actions are especially concerning because the Clerk is appointed by the City Council.

“No employee should be treated in that disrespectful manner, especially one who has honorably served this community for more than 20 years. This is a place of business and even disagreements must be handled professionally. Shame on Ms. Galloway for this abusive treatment of staff,” Mayor Neeley said.

Councilman Eric Mays encouraged Ms. Galloway to “stay calm” and “let her finish.” Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter said: “The tone of your voice is very condescending.”

This is two meetings in a row that the Council President has been deemed out of order. She was removed from the Budget Hearing on May 19, 2020.

That Budget Hearing was the point of contention for Ms. Galloway. She had attempted to call a Special City Council Meeting, which would have allowed Galloway to serve as chair of the meeting, to replace the already-called Budget Hearings, called by Finance Committee Chair Kate Fields.

Inez Brown explained at one point — “You would have been usurping the authority of what had already been posted” —  before being cut off again by Ms. Galloway.

Inez Brown has served as City of Flint clerk since 1997 and with seven different City Councils. She was allowed to finish answering the question after Galloway was ruled out of order.

“For me to hear this kind of thing over one small meeting where no decisions were made, just dialogue took place, is really appalling,” Clerk Inez Brown said.