The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee (PPC) has endorsed seven candidates in the May 5 election for the Flint Charter Review Commission. The PPC is also urging the Chamber’s 1,200-plus members and affiliates in Flint & Genesee, as well as all voters to vote “yes” on Proposal 1.

The PPC, which is comprised of business, government and education leaders from Flint and Genesee County, conducted a process to identify candidates who will make up the elected Commission that will oversee the review process for the Flint City Charter.  Following are the candidates selected for endorsement.

  • John D. Cherry, Performance Management Coordinator, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Brian Larkin, Director of Core Initiatives, Flint & Genesee Chamber
  • Cleora Magee, Former Executive Director (retired), City of Flint Human Relations Commission
  • Heidi Phaneuf, Community Resource Planner, Genesee County Land Bank
  • Jim Richardson, Former CEO (retired), Planned Parenthood of East Central Michigan
  • Nayyirah Shariff, Contract Health Educator/entrepreneur
  • Barry Williams, Former Flint Police Officer (retired); former Flint City Councilman, 5th Ward

In addition, the PPC issued the following statement regarding Proposal 1:

“The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee strongly believes that the future of our local economy depends heavily on investing in our transportation infrastructure. The Michigan Sales Tax Increase Amendment would increase the state's sales and use tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to pay for fixing our roads and bridges, among other things.

“We urge our 1,200+ members and affiliates in Flint & Genesee, and all voters to vote ’yes’ on Proposal 1 on May 5. The revenue raised by the additional 1 percent sales tax will pay for much-needed improvements in our road infrastructure, K-12 education, municipal services and public transportation. These services and infrastructure are vital to our economic well-being. Further delay of this critical investment will jeopardize our economic resurgence and competitiveness in attracting and retaining organizations to do business within our region.”

The announcements are a continuation of the Chamber’s expanded engagement in the legislative and political process.  Endorsement recommendations from the PPC were reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee of the Chamber’s Operating Board prior to announcement.