Detroit City Council Against Department Closures

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JoAnn WAtson

The rift between the Detroit mayor’s office and the city council over closing or privatizing city departments was clear at Tuesday’s open meeting. When residents lectured the council for putting the Human Services Department and the Public Health Department on the chopping block, Council member JoAnn Watson made sure to set the record straight that it was the mayor’s office, not the council, that was pushing the cuts. “That was the executive branch,” she told a resident who hotly voiced her concerns about department cuts. “You’re preaching to the wrong group, honey.”

While it wasn’t on the council’s agenda to vote on department decertification this Tuesday, when it does come up for a vote, council will likely vote it down.

But that doesn’t mean city departments are safe from trims. The financial advisory board, appointed under the consent agreement that was approved by the City Council and Mayor Dave Bing, would ultimately take financial decisions away from the council. 

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