The Flint mayor and his state representative wife used the city’s official emergency contact system to push attendance at their own Easter egg roll event last week.
Mayor Sheldon Neely and his wife, state Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D) hosted a “Golden Egg Hunt” Thursday, April 6, prior Easter.
Neeley used the city’s Emergency Alert System to invite people to attend:
“Please join Mayor Sheldon Neeley for an Easter Egg Hunt today, Thursday, April 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the lawn behind Flint City Hall,” the message read. “This event is free for all kids ages 0-11 years old. We hope to see you there.”
Flint city councilwoman Tonya Burns was quick to denounce the apparent abuse of the system, writing on Facebook, “At no point should the City of Flint’s Emergency Alert System be used for an Easter Egg Hunt notification when not one resident was notified about Pump Station #5 that suffered catastrophic mechanical failure whereas Flint residents had 1-3 feet of standing water that ruined their furnaces, hot water heaters, washer/dryers, drywall, flooring, furniture and etc. and we’re left scrambling for help. Emergency alert systems are in place for emergencies only.”
Flint launched the Emergency Alert System in March and announced a broad array of messages it would be sending, including “street maintenance, boil water advisories, missing children, active shooter alerts, natural disasters, and evacuation or shelter in place notices,” Mlive reported.
Alert Flint is “a program of the CodeRED emergency notification system, which operates in thousands of municipalities across the country,” according to Mlive.
Flint’s population recently dropped to its lowest point in 110 years, ABC 12 reported in January.
The city suffered a 21 percent population decline from 2010 to 2020, to 81,000 residents.