Detroit city charter

A community meeting with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing came to an abrupt and early end last night.

Bing and members of his administration were booed and heckled offstage after about 20 minutes.

Before the meeting broke down, Bing took questions from a few people. Most were angry questions, about issues ranging from the city’s lagging bus system, to a proposal to let the state lease Belle Isle.

Despite opposition from Governor Snyder, the Detroit City Council voted to put four proposed charter amendments on the November ballot.

Detroit and Lansing went through a long, contentious process before the two sides reached a consent agreement to keep the city from going broke.

But that agreement has faced resistance from some Council members.

Detroit officials are fast-tracking a process to change the way Council members represent the city.

Detroit voters approved a plan in November to elect seven of nine City Council members by district, when they approved a new city charter. Currently, all nine members represent the city at-large.

Lower Community College / Flickr

Legislative Recall

State Representative Paul Scott is the first Michigan lawmaker since 1983 to be recalled. Scott was targeted by the Michigan Education Association for his support of changes to the state's teacher tenure law and budget cuts to education funding. “The recall election is widely seen as an early measure of voters’ discontent with what Scott, Governor Rick Snyder, and Republicans in Lansing have been up to,” Rick Pluta explains.

Detroit City Charter

Detroit voters overwhelmingly approved a new city charter. The charter changes the structure of the Detroit City Council by creating a new system where the majority of Council members are elected by district. The charter also creates a new Office of the Inspector General to investigate corruption, fraud, and waste. An elected charter commission had spent the past two years putting together the proposal.

Flint Mayoral Race

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling won re-election last night. But it may end up being a temporary victory, Steve Carmody reports:

Dayne Walling celebrated his win last night with jubilant supporters. But they all knew that earlier in the day, Governor Snyder accepted a report that said the city of Flint is in a financial emergency.   The governor is expected to appoint an emergency manager to run the city. Flint officials could appeal the decision. But Walling says he’s prepared to work with a manager appointed by the governor. 

Benton Harbor Mayoral Race

In Benton Harbor, City Commissioner James Hightower narrowly beat incumbent Mayor Wilce Cooke. “Cooke is likely to challenge the results, which came in 681 to 673, a difference of 8 votes. The state appointed an emergency manger to take over the city’s finances during Cooke’s second term as mayor,” Lindsey Smith reports.

Jackson Mayoral Race

In Jackson, Democrat Martin Griffin will become the city’s next mayor after defeating incumbent Mayor Karen Dunigan. Griffin has had the job before, he was Jackson's mayor from 1995-2006.

Lansing Millage

Lansing residents have voted to increase their taxes to pay for public safety. The Lansing State Journal reports that the millage would generate more than $7 million in the first year for police, fire services, and road maintenance.

Ann Arbor Millage and City Council

In Ann Arbor, voters approved a tax increase to pay for future sidewalk repairs and  renewed the city’s street millage for another five years. The new sidewalk millage will cost the average homeowner in Ann Arbor about $13 a year. Voters also returned four incumbents to City Council. However, in Ward 2, Independent Jane Lumm beat incumbent Stephen Rapundalo.