Detroit City Council http://michiganradio.org en Detroit City Council approves massive property transfer to city land bank http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-approves-massive-property-transfer-city-land-bank <p>The Detroit City Council has agreed to <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140415/METRO01/304150095/1361/Detroit-council-OKs-transferring-city-owned-properties-to-land-bank">transfer more than 16,000 city owned properties to Detroit’s land bank authority</a>.</p><p>The transfer allows Mayor Mike Duggan’s ambitious blight eradication efforts to move forward.</p><p>Duggan wants to use the non-profit land bank as a key tool in the fight against blight.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17247 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit City Council approves massive property transfer to city land bank Bankruptcy case delays Detroit's usual budget process http://michiganradio.org/post/bankruptcy-case-delays-detroits-usual-budget-process <p>Detroit’s bankruptcy case is throwing a wrench in the city’s usual budget process.</p><p>Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan didn’t give his charter-mandated city budget address as scheduled Monday.</p><p>Rather, officials told City Council members that Detroit needs to update its plan of adjustment first. That’s the city’s restructuring blueprint for getting through bankruptcy.</p><p>Detroit chief financial officer John Hill said that since the plan will shape the city budget, it doesn’t make sense start talking now.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 03:20:36 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17227 at http://michiganradio.org Bankruptcy case delays Detroit's usual budget process Detroit gets a new sports and entertainment district, but not without controversy http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-gets-new-sports-and-entertainment-district-not-without-controversy <p>The Detroit City Council has approved a major land deal to create a new hockey arena and entertainment district.</p><p>The Council<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140204/NEWS01/302040024/Detroit-council-votes-today-on-arena-deal-Ilitches-to-get-land-for-1"> transferred all city-owned land within the 45-block entertainment district’s borders</a> to Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority Tuesday – for just $1.</p><p>That Authority will manage the mega-development, along with Olympia Development of Michigan.</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 16308 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit gets a new sports and entertainment district, but not without controversy How have George Cushingberry's actions affected Detroit? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-have-george-cushingberrys-actions-affected-detroit <p>When Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry was stopped by police last month after leaving a northwest Detroit strip club, police found an open glass of alcohol, an empty bottle of booze, a lit marijuana cigarette, and expired vehicle registration.</p><p>Far from expressing any acts of contrition, Cushingberry claimed he had been stopped "for driving black." It should, however, be noted that the two officers were African-American and Arab-American.</p><p>This has caused many in Detroit to do a collective "facepalm," as in, "Oh no, not again!"</p><p>Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley and b<span style="line-height: 1.5;">logger and author Karen Dumas</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;joined us today to talk about what this all means for the city in practical terms, and in terms of the image of its leadership.</span></p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:18:04 +0000 Stateside Staff 16298 at http://michiganradio.org How have George Cushingberry's actions affected Detroit? Detroit's City Council might prolong state control http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-city-council-might-prolong-state-control <p></p><p>If you own a hotel, this is a good week to be in Detroit, where thousands of journalists and auto industry people are flocking to town for the North American International Auto Show.</p><p>Hopefully this will bring some good publicity for the city, which badly needs it. Last week was a setback, especially in terms of city government. But I think most people don’t realize how damaging it was. More on this in a moment.</p><p>But first, this will be the first time ever that the auto show will be in a Detroit where the mayor is not the most powerful figure. Today, that would be emergency manager Kevyn Orr.</p><p>A week ago, we would have figured this was an anomaly, and that next year, Mayor Mike Duggan would be ready to welcome the auto buffs to a normal city where the elected officials were fully in charge. Now, however, that’s not so certain.</p><p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 13:45:19 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 15993 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit's City Council might prolong state control Lessenberry talks Asian carp, the polar vortex and new Detroit leadership http://michiganradio.org/post/lessenberry-talks-asian-carp-polar-vortex-and-new-detroit-leadership <p>This <em>Week in Michigan Politics</em>, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley talk about a plan to keep <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/keeping-carp-out-great-lakes-could-take-years-and-cost-billions">Asian carp out of the Great Lakes</a>, the polar vortex and what the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-has-new-president">new leadership</a> on Detroit City Council will mean for the city.</p><p></p><p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 13:33:20 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 15931 at http://michiganradio.org Lessenberry talks Asian carp, the polar vortex and new Detroit leadership Chilling new leadership in Detroit City Council http://michiganradio.org/post/chilling-new-leadership-detroit-city-council <p>Most people in Detroit yesterday were understandably focused on the bone-chilling cold, on attempts to get the streets cleared of snow, and to get those without heat to warming centers.</p><p>But something else happened that sent a chill through those trying to manage the city to a brighter future. The newly elected City Council chose its two top leaders yesterday.</p><p>I can tell you that virtually without exception, those trying to remake the city counted on Saunteel Jenkins being elected City Council president. Saunteel knows politics and people.&nbsp; She came from the mean streets, where her 14-year-old brother was shot dead by someone stealing his jacket.</p><p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 13:37:03 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 15912 at http://michiganradio.org Chilling new leadership in Detroit City Council Detroit City Council has a new president http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-has-new-president <p>There was an important vote today as members of Detroit's City Council chose a new leader.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Councilwoman Brenda Jones edged out previous Council president </span>Saunteel<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Jenkins.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek explains what happened.</span></p><p><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">*Listen to audio above.</span></em></p><p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:41:01 +0000 Stateside Staff 15900 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit City Council has a new president Proposed new Red Wings arena, entertainment district clear more hurdles http://michiganradio.org/post/proposed-new-red-wings-arena-entertainment-district-clear-more-hurdles <p>A proposed new hockey arena and entertainment district in Detroit has cleared more hurdles.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131220/BIZ/312200069/Detroit-City-Council-approves-financing-Red-Wings-arena-district?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit City Council voted Friday</a> on two measures that will allow the $650 million project to move forward.</p> Sat, 21 Dec 2013 01:17:44 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 15794 at http://michiganradio.org Proposed new Red Wings arena, entertainment district clear more hurdles In 'a big surprise' to Detroit leaders, state to pay little for city's restructuring consultants http://michiganradio.org/post/big-surprise-detroit-leaders-state-pay-little-citys-restructuring-consultants <p>Detroit’s elected leaders are shocked that the state has put a strict limit on how much it will pay for the city’s many restructuring consultants.</p><p>Under a memorandum of understanding signed last year, the state agreed to reimburse Detroit for half the cost of those outside contractors.</p><p>But <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20131114/NEWS01/311140027/spending-cap-state-city-of-detroit-5-million">Detroit’s finance director told the City Council Wednesday</a> those reimbursements would be capped at $5 million.</p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 15297 at http://michiganradio.org In 'a big surprise' to Detroit leaders, state to pay little for city's restructuring consultants A fresh face on Detroit City Council http://michiganradio.org/post/fresh-face-detroit-city-council <p></p><p>Raquel Castaneda-Lopez is the newest member to the Detroit &nbsp;City Council<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;representing District 6 in Southwest Detroit,​ which includes the largest concentration of Hispanic voters in the city.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Lopez gained political experience running state Rep.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Rashida</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tlaib’s</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;campaign in 2008. She has worked with non-profit groups for years with a focus on youth programs in disadvantaged communities.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lopez says she want to keep the focus on the needs of her constituents - safety&nbsp;and access to city services for example.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 22:36:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 15273 at http://michiganradio.org A fresh face on Detroit City Council Detroit City Council has no alternative to $350M loan plan to pay off city's debt http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-has-no-alternative-350m-loan-plan-pay-citys-debt <p>DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit City Council has decided not to push an alternative to a $350 million loan designed to help the city pay off some of its massive pension debt.<br /><br />Council members on Friday discussed the competing plan to the post-bankruptcy petition financial proposal engineered by state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr.<br /><br />About $230 million from Barclays would be used to fully pay off a complicated pension debt deal involving two major creditors. The rest would be used to improve basic city services.<br /> Sat, 26 Oct 2013 12:41:00 +0000 The Associated Press 15009 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit City Council has no alternative to $350M loan plan to pay off city's debt Detroit Council hopes to send message by rejecting loan proposal http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-council-hopes-send-message-rejecting-loan-proposal <p>The Detroit City Council has <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20131021/NEWS01/310210121/Detroit-City-Council-Kevyn-Orr-Barclay-loan">rejected a $350 million loan deal</a> secured by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.</p><p>Orr announced the deal with the British financial giant Barclays earlier this month.</p><p>The plan was to use most of the money—about $230 million—to pay off two banks who profited from a bad interest rate swaps deal Detroit made on some pension debt years ago.</p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 01:14:52 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 14936 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Council hopes to send message by rejecting loan proposal Detroit City Council rejects Belle Isle lease, offers its own proposal http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-rejects-belle-isle-lease-offers-its-own-proposal <p>The Detroit City Council has <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131014/METRO01/310140039/Detroit-council-rejects-Belle-Isle-pact-offers-alternative?odyssey=mod|breaking|text|FRONTPAGE">rejected a proposal to lease Belle Isle to the state</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">But the Council is also putting forth its own, alternative lease deal.</span></p><p>Governor Snyder and emergency manager Kevyn Orr already signed a 30-year lease deal last month.</p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 00:32:02 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 14838 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit City Council rejects Belle Isle lease, offers its own proposal State and Detroit officials strike tentative deal to lease Belle Isle http://michiganradio.org/post/state-and-detroit-officials-strike-tentative-deal-lease-belle-isle <p>The state of Michigan has signed a deal to lease Detroit&rsquo;s Belle Isle.</p><p>Governor Snyder and emergency manager Kevyn Orr have both approved the plan.</p><p>The state won&rsquo;t pay anything for the 30-year deal, which has two 15-year renewal options.</p><p>But the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will run Belle Isle as a state park, saving Detroit an estimated $4 million a year in maintenance costs.</p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 19:54:06 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 14674 at http://michiganradio.org State and Detroit officials strike tentative deal to lease Belle Isle Detroit officials may collaborate with goats to solve landscaping issues http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-officials-may-collaborate-goats-solve-landscaping-issues <p>When things get tough, Detroit City Councilman James Tate digs deeper.</p><p>He (at the suggestions of residents) might have a way to maintain Detroit's miles of vacant lots.&nbsp;</p><p>At tomorrow's city council meeting, he'll talk about the possibility of allowing goats and sheep to graze on tall grasses.&nbsp;</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/09/goats_in_detroit_councilman_ex.html">MLive</a>, Tate is bringing in a grazing expert to speak at the meeting.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>"Urban cities are doing this all across the country and having absolutely no issues, whatsoever," Tate said. Allowing the animals into neighborhoods could require changes to the city's urban agriculture ordinance.</p></blockquote><p>Chicago recently <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/naperville_lisle/ct-talk-naperville-goats-20130926,0,5877353.story?track=rss">used goats</a> (some of whom are named Cream Puff, Orca, and Nugget) to clear invasive plants from a park.&nbsp;</p><p>The grazing expert, according to MLive, was also involved in <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/tipoff/index.ssf/2012/06/sheep_arrive_in_cleveland_to_r.html">a similar livestock endeavor</a> in Cleveland. The Cleveland project used sheep -- and one llama -- to maintain a vacant lot. The project received a $2,000 grant from Charter One's Growing Communities program.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 15:47:09 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14579 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit officials may collaborate with goats to solve landscaping issues This week in Michigan politics: Consolidating schools, creditors' bus tour, Detroit City Council http://michiganradio.org/post/week-michigan-politics-consolidating-schools-creditors-bus-tour-detroit-city-council <p>This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss the proposal to <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigans-state-superintendent-wants-move-toward-county-wide-school-districts">consolidate school districts</a> into county-wide systems, the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/orr-cancels-detroit-bus-tour-creditors-pull-out">canceled bus tour</a> for Detroit creditors, and the new changes on the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-elects-new-leaders">Detroit City Council</a>.</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:43:46 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Emily Fox & Michigan Radio Newsroom 13455 at http://michiganradio.org This week in Michigan politics: Consolidating schools, creditors' bus tour, Detroit City Council In this morning's news: Jenkins replaces Pugh, income tax bill, Orr meets with creditors http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-jenkins-replaces-pugh-income-tax-bill-orr-meets-creditors <p><strong>Saunteel</strong> <strong>Jenkins replaces Charles Pugh as Detroit City Council President</strong></p><p>"Saunteel Jenkins is the new President of the Detroit City Council. The Council voted on new leadership after it lost its two former top officials. Jenkins replaces Charles Pugh, who has vanished from the public eye amidst allegations of a questionable relationship with a teenager," Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-elects-new-leaders">reports.</a></p><p><strong>Proposed legislation would let voters eliminate income tax</strong></p><p>Republican state Representative Bob Genetski is sponsoring legislation that would let voters decide whether to get rid of the state's income tax.<br><br>"He supports raising the state’s sale’s tax to make up for the lost revenue. Former director of the state House Fiscal Agency Mitch Bean says the plan would leave an $8.5 billion dollar hole in next year’s state budget," Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Orr cancels bus tour with creditors </strong></p><p>Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has canceled a planned bus tour meant to convince Wall Street creditors that the city's condition is dire and they should accept big losses on its debt.<br><br>"Orr says the tour could be rescheduled. But it increasingly seems that his negotiations with creditors are hitting a wall. City Council member Ken Cockrel echoes what many think--that resistance from creditors is speeding up Detroit’s timeline for a possible bankruptcy filing," Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 10:53:50 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13454 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Jenkins replaces Pugh, income tax bill, Orr meets with creditors Detroit City Council elects new leaders http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-elects-new-leaders <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>The Detroit City Council voted on new leadership Tuesday, and selected Saunteel Jenkins as its new President.</p><p>“It feels humbling. It feels good,” said Jenkins, noting she sits in the seat once held by her late mentor, longtime Council President <a href="http://detroithistorical.org/learn/encyclopedia-of-detroit/mahaffey-maryann">Maryann Mahaffey</a>.</p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 22:54:59 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13453 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit City Council elects new leaders Investigation suspended for Pugh, new Detroit City Council leadership selected http://michiganradio.org/post/investigation-suspended-pugh-new-detroit-city-council-leadership-selected <p>A police investigation of former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh was stopped yesterday.</p><p>Police were investigating Pugh after allegations were made that Pugh had "inappropriate contact" with an 18-year-old student that he was mentoring at Fredrick Douglass High School.</p><p>According to the Associated Press, "the teen's mother fears that the case is harming [her son] psychologically."</p><blockquote><p>Madison Heights police said in a statement Monday they're honoring the family's request and postponing an interview with the teen.</p><p>The department says it isn't forwarding the case to prosecutors because it's necessary to speak with the victim "in order to do a complete and thorough investigation."</p></blockquote><p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 18:44:10 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13443 at http://michiganradio.org Investigation suspended for Pugh, new Detroit City Council leadership selected