Wednesday June 27 Mayor Bing holds his first City-Wide Community Meeting for 2012 from 7-8pm in the Erma Henderson Auditorium, 13th floor Coleman A Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave between Jefferson and Larned. It is open to the public, when you enter ask for a comment card – fill out your name and hand it in immediately.
Mayor Bing is required by Detroit City Charter (sec 5-110) to hold a city-wide Community Meeting from 7-8pm that is open to the public, following Michigan’s Open Meetings Act. He is also to hold at least one meeting in each of the non-at-large communities. These meetings are to be well publicized. Have you seen the public service announcements?
Pre-Meeting Rally with Free Detroit
There will be a rally at 5pm at the Labor Monument in Hart Plaza. This rally may be very brief due to the schedule that was offered by the Mayor’s office at City Council meeting today. We urge the public to rally, unite in understanding the issues, how to fight back, and making this opportunity to meet with the Mayor a success. Flyers for the rally can be printed 4 to a page – full color or black & white. This information sheet contains valuable update information that we would like everyone attending to have a copy of. If you can print additional 2 sided copies and bring they would be very appreciated.
Doors to the Mayor’s meeting open at 5:45pm, comment cards are taken between 6:45-7:10pm. The meeting will end at 8pm. Expect comments to be given 1 or 1.5 minutes each. Be clear in your message, and speak specifically. You are not wrong to have a voice and opinion in how things are going in this city. Do not consent to being suppressed.
Prior Community Meeting Review
Mayor Bing tried to hold a city-wide Community Meeting in March, but his health failed and he was in the hospital. His track record for appearing in public isn’t faring too well this year. Most of his appearances have been press conferences void of the public.
The Mayor and the Public
Last Friday was one of the Mayor’s most recent press conferences. Prior to meeting with the press, the Mayor called a Special meeting with City Council to petition for the removal of Krystal Crittendon from Corporation Counsel. This has been a hot story in Detroit politics and the mainstream press has published defamatory opinion pieces against the city’s top lawyer.
The meeting format with City Council has public comments first in the agenda. However the Mayor must have been “expecting” to be able to come in speak his interest, gather council opinion, vote and leave. He has been afforded that privilege of position in the past. Scratch those plans – he sat through over 30 minutes of comments interrupting twice asking if he could get to “the business at hand”. City Council President Charles Pugh replied this is the format of our meetings and public comments are welcome. Every comment offered was pro-counsel / anti-Mayor, anti-administration. Some comments had a lot of venom in how they were delivered, others patiently describing sheer frustration in getting anything done through the Mayor. This sentiment has been expressed in every City Council meeting I’ve attended. City Council is not directing the work of the city – it is through the Mayor’s administration that work is done. City Council is approving work & budgets, hearing from the public as their representatives, and working with the administration. Reading the City Charter reveals the law of the city and roles of persons and departments in it.
Finally Mayor Bing interrupted public comments saying he had an important phone conference with Washington that he had to attend and could not wait any longer. Council President Pugh indicated the meeting would be in recess until he returned, which the Mayor didn’t offer any timeframe as to when that would happen. He got up with his attending Chief of Staff Kirk Lewis and Chief Financial Officer Jack Martin and left with his aides. Meeting stood in recess for 45 minutes and some left, the press was waiting for the story and the mayor sent an aide up to bring them to the 11th floor for an impromptu press conference. During which he stated the meeting was a “sideshow” and had a small group from the public that carried a limited agenda.
Violate the Charter and Forfeit Position – Your Input Needed
Mayor Bing has stated several times that he will no longer be working with Corporation Counsel, which he did restate during one of his interrruptions on Friday. This lack of relationship is a violation of the City Charter (sec 7.5-201). There are a number of additional violations committed by Mayor Bing’s administration and certain members of City Council.
Free Detroit – No Consent has prepared an Ethics Complaint Kit and are asking for persons living / working in the city to print, fill out the form, have it notarized and turned in to Free Detroit so they may be accounted for and delivered as a group to the Board of Ethics by July 23, which is before their next meeting on July 27, offering sufficient time to review the submissions. The intent is the Forfeiture of Office per section 2-107 of City Charter. Contact information for Free Detroit is 313-444-0061 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is Free Detroit?
Many of the core members of Free Detroit – No Consent are Detroit residents that have been involved with Occupy Detroit for quite a while. Some members are or were city employees. Everyone in the group has a passion for the voice from the people of Detroit being heard, seeing justice for workers, our children, and our seniors. Our interests are many and we serve, not as officials but as activists for the city.Article contributed by Stephen Boyle – member of Free Detroit, and the Occupy Detroit media team.