james fouts

Politics & Government
5:34 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Warren's mayor unimpressed by "window dressing" changes to fireworks law

morguefile.com

It could be a long, hot, NOISY summer in Warren, Michigan, along with many other communities.

The city's mayor, Jim Fouts, is one of the most vocal critics of the state's one-year-old fireworks law, which permits individuals to purchase commercial-grade fireworks, and set them off the day before, the day of, and the day after ten major holidays.

He says a modification to the law being considered by the state legislature will do no good.

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Religion
6:08 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Michigan Mayor says "no" to anti-religion sign, "yes" to nativity scene

The offending signs from the Freedom From Religion Coalition. The group wants to display the sign in Warren City Hall. The Mayor of Warren has denied their request.
Warren's Office of the Mayor

A national nonprofit group for atheists and agnostics wants to display a sandwich board with an anti-religion message inside Warren City Hall.  A nativity scene erected by the Warren Rotary Club is on display in Warren City Hall, something the "Freedom From Religion Coalition" takes issue with.

On one side, the group's sign reads:

  • "At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."


On the other, it reads:

  • "Keep State & Church Separate."


The Macomb Daily News reports the group has tried to put the sign up in past years:

From the Macomb Daily:

For the second consecutive year, the Freedom From Religion Coalition has taken exception to the crèche located in the atrium of the municipal building, saying other viewpoints on religion should be permitted. According to a Fox 2 Detroit (WJBK-TV) report, the group has threatened legal action against the city...

According to the Freedom From Religion Coalition's website, their "demand letter to Mayor James R. Fouts, of Warren, Michigan, gave him until 10 a.m. today to agree to place their “equal time Winter Solstice sign" in the atrium of Warren City Hall.

Mayor James Fouts sent a letter to the group saying he would not allow their sign to be displayed because the sign is "antagonistic toward all religions and would serve no purpose during this holiday season except to provoke controversy and hostility among visitors and employees at city hall."

Fouts says he's allowed displays in city hall celebrating Ramadan, a month-long Muslim holiday, but could not support the Coalition's sign because "your non-religion is not a recognized religion."

From Fouts' letter:

If you requested permission to put up a sandwich board saying that there is no Santa Claus, you would be met with the same response. Santa Claus lives in the minds and hearts of many millions of children. The belief of God and religion lives in the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of people and is as much a part of the fabric of America, as the belief in democracy and freedom.

Attorney Danielle Hessell of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is representing the Freedom From Religion Coalition in the dispute. Hessell says the group is planning to sue.

From a FFRC press release:

“To date, the mayor has engaged in flagrant viewpoint censorship. As the city’s top government official, he has created a public forum for religion and only for religion. We hope reason will prevail, but if he does not permit our member to place the Winter Solstice display in the atrium tomorrow, we are planning to sue Mr. Fouts in federal court.”

Politics
12:59 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Incumbent mayor clear winner in Warren primary

Warren Mayor James Fouts cruised to any easy primary victory Tuesday night.

The five-person primary in Michigan’s third-largest city got downright nasty at times. Candidates lobbed personal attacks, and there was a strange battle over whether Fouts had to reveal his age.

In the end though, Fouts was the clear winner, garnering more than 70% of the vote.

Fouts says he’s fought blight, demolishing about 600 dangerous homes. He also reorganized the city’s police department, and brought back EMS services.

He says the vote shows Warren is happy with his efforts.

“I think hard work, and effort, and recognizing the taxpayers are your boss, has allowed this success to take place.”

Fouts and City Councilwoman Kathy Vogt, a longtime political opponent, will face off in the November general election.

Despite finishing a distant second, Vogt says she’ll continue to hammer on what she calls Fouts’ lack of fiscal discipline.

“There are places where costs can be cut. And that’s what we’ve got to do. There’s got to be drastic cuts at this point. And the people at the top cannot continue to take top dollar all the time.”

Fouts calls Vogt’s assertions of fiscal irresponsibility “preposterous.” He says Warren has more money in its general fund than any other city in the state.