(FLINT, Mich. – April 20, 2015) Today, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee (PPC) announced the endorsement of seven candidates in the May 5 election for the Flint Charter Review Commission.

The PPC interviewed all 12 candidates who returned the committee’s questionnaire about the Charter Review Commission election. 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

“The Flint City Charter is a critically important document. It is our local Constitution,” said Steve Landaal, President of Landaal Packaging Systems and PPC Chair. “The charter lays out how the local government will operate, establishes the powers and duties of our elected officials, establishes safeguards against the misuse of authority, and provides for citizen participation.

“As Flint’s transformation gains momentum, the time is ripe for a careful review of this vital document to ensure that the Charter continues to meet the needs and best interests of our citizens into the future. The Public Policy Committee is pleased to endorse a diverse pool of well-qualified, civic-minded candidates to lead this effort.”

All candidates were invited to complete a questionnaire and to participate in an interview process. The PPC then evaluated the candidates based on their responses. Candidates who chose not to participate in the process were not evaluated.

“I’m pleased that our Public Policy Committee has chosen to weigh-in on this important election,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “The Charter has a tremendous impact on the type of community we want to be, and I truly appreciate all the hard work the entire committee has put into the endorsement process.”