Nicholas Goldberg: Jeering, screaming and upending the City Council is arrogant, irresponsible and ineffective
In a press conference on June 25, the mayor of Detroit announced that she would take steps to ensure that the city’s debt was paid off and that the police department would be allowed its $100 million budget. At the same time, Mayor Mike Duggan said he wanted to get rid of a city council that had become a laughing stock.
Duggan accused council members of being arrogant, not showing up for work, ignoring the plight of citizens and being more interested in filling their pockets with money than serving the city.
The mayor’s actions came after she announced that there was a $100 million deficit for the police department and that she had asked to meet with citizens and members of the police union to discuss her concerns. At the same time, a state audit showed the city in a negative position and an emergency manager was being considered.
In response, Duggan ordered the City Council to do one of two things. On one hand, he offered to fire council members and appoint a new city manager. On the other, he said he would not replace six council members and he would not get rid of the emergency manager. If the council did either of those things, Duggan said, he would have to fire the mayor.
So there you have it: The mayor fired her four council members, the mayor appointed a new city manager, the mayor fired her chief of staff, the council was asked to do nothing and the mayor continued with his attack.
The entire City Council was an embarrassment to the city. For five weeks, they met every day with no agenda and no other agenda that was in line with the mayor’s position and agenda. No matter what they were talking about, it was in conflict with the mayor’s agenda, which was to get rid of the four council members.
The mayor put her entire party into a room and called it a council session and in the following few days