Detroit council fails to approve contract tied to $10M payment - New York News

Detroit council fails to approve contract tied to $10M payment

Posted: Updated:

By Alexis Wiley
Fox 2 News Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- "City council does not exist to be a rubber stamp body," said Council Member Ken Cockrel, Junior.

Council proved that Tuesday afternoon when they voted against the privatization of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department and the city's contract with the law firm Miller Canfield.

Most of the Detroiters at Tuesday night's community meeting said their council members made the right move.

"It was the best thing that they could've done," said one resident.

However, the mayor is anything but happy.  He released a statement saying, in part, "The state has made it very clear that if the City of Detroit did not meet all three milestones as outlined in our agreement, money from the city's escrow account would not be forthcoming.  The council's rejection of the Miller Canfield contact means the city will not receive the first $10 million scheduled for release today.  Today's vote is one more example of how city council has stalled our efforts to bring financial stability to the City of Detroit."

"I think he's wrong.  I mean, just read the document.  Just read it.  It doesn't say that we had to approve Miller Canfield in his document, the one that he negotiated with the state.  It said we had to vote on it and we did vote on it," said Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown.

"I wasn't surprised by the statement.  I do think it's disappointing and I do think that the real focus at this point needs to be on fixing the problem rather than complaining about it," Cockrel said.

"We also looked at the (conflicts) of interest that were numerous with that Miller Canfield contract.  So we would like to sit down with the mayor and come up with another law firm that we would be willing to accept," said Council President Charles Pugh.

Even Brown, the only council member who voted to approve the Miller Canfield contract, said the council filled its end of the bargain.

"We did everything that was in the memorandum of understanding," he remarked.  "I expect we'll be getting that $10 million shortly."

But regardless of whether you expect the cash or not, the reality is the state is the one holding the pursestrings and with no cash, we know what comes next.

What if Detroit goes bankrupt?  We asked Cockrel whether council is prepared for that scenario.

"It's not going to happen because I think you're going to see the city council and the mayor and his team come together, fix these issues and move forward.  Failure is not an option."

"I want to know why the state would allow us to go bankrupt over one law firm when we could simply choose another one," Pugh said.

"The bottom line is the mayor's probably got to do and his team have probably got to do a better job of polling council members, touching base with them ahead of time to find out exactly what their concerns are, address all of those concerns, and then make sure you count to five before you even bring it to council," said Cockrel.

Council members believe there is still time and room for negotiation to come up with an agreement that is okay with everyone.

I contacted the state Treasurer's Office.  They said they are always open to talk with council, but at the same time this is the agreement that's on the table.

City council actually did approved most of what the state asked for.

Watch the second video report above for more on this story from Fox 2's Amy Lange.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Mom: 4-year-old banned from doughnut shop

    Mom: 4-year-old banned from doughnut shop

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:05 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:05:13 GMT
    4-year-old Justin Otero is a curious guy, but his curiosity got him into some trouble at his local Connecticut doughnut shop.
    4-year-old Justin Otero is a curious guy, but his curiosity got him into some trouble at his local Connecticut doughnut shop.
  • Ex-Sen. Lieberman to teach at Yeshiva University

    Ex-Sen. Lieberman to teach at Yeshiva University

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:56:06 GMT
    Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman has been appointed a professor at Yeshiva University for the coming school year. The private university in New York City named him the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service. He'll teach an undergraduate course and give three public lectures on topics ranging from Judaism and public service to the Middle East.
    Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman has been appointed a professor at Yeshiva University for the coming school year. The private university in New York City named him the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service. He'll teach an undergraduate course and give three public lectures on topics ranging from Judaism and public service to the Middle East.
  • Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoon

    Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoon

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:30:38 GMT
    Dunkin' Donuts handout photoDunkin' Donuts handout photo
    If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on. Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said in a phone interview Thursday that the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush.
    If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on. Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said in a phone interview Thursday that the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • General Motors profit declines 85% in 2Q

    General Motors profit declines 85% in 2Q

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:43 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:43:10 GMT
     General Motors says second-quarter profit fell 85 percent as recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from the bottom line.
     General Motors says second-quarter profit fell 85 percent as recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from the bottom line.
  • Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:48:56 GMT
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
  • Rehabilitation grants available for auction homes

    Rehabilitation grants available for auction homes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:45:20 GMT
    Homes eligible for $25,000 in forgivable rehabilitation grants are going on sale in a west side Detroit neighborhood. An online auction by the city's Land Bank Authority begins Thursday for eight houses in the Marygrove area.
    Homes eligible for $25,000 in forgivable rehabilitation grants are going on sale in a west side Detroit neighborhood. An online auction by the city's Land Bank Authority begins Thursday for eight houses in the Marygrove area.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices