- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Current members of the Flint City Council will interview candidates to fill two soon-to-be-vacated seats on the board, state-appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley announced Friday.

The interviews will be held at a special council meeting on Jan. 5.

Earley has given the names of three candidates each for Ward 3 and Ward 6 to the council. Applicants were sought after two councilmen, Bryant Nolden and Sheldon Neeley, were elected to other offices.

“This process satisfies my oversight responsibility as the state-appointed emergency manager … while at the same time allowing the City Council to select its own replacements,” Earley said in a press release. “They have six very strong candidates from which to select.”

The two new councilmembers will serve until November 2015 when they will need to seek election to serve the remainder of the vacant terms. Candidates for Ward 3 are Kerry Nelson, Linda Booze and Quincy Murphy, while candidates for Ward 6 are Theron Wiggins, Audrey Makokha and Herbert Winfrey. Earley said he expects the council to conclude their deliberations by the end of the Jan. 5 meeting.

Flint, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit, has been under state oversight since 2011 because of persistent municipal budget deficits. Earley took over as the city’s emergency manager on Oct. 1, 2013.

Earlier this year, the council adopted a strategic plan for the city, which included a vision, mission and goals for the next five years. Six members of City Council called for Earley’s removal in October, but the state said the earliest Earley should leave the post is April 1, 2015.

Earley has said the city is making financial progress but has work to do before returning to local control.

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