Pugh bullies mayor, ends meeting

By Steve Neavling

Good leaders find common ground in tough times.

Then there’s Council President Charles Pugh, whose taste for drama and showmanship unnecessarily ended a public meeting in which Mayor Dave Bing was to make an urgent plea this morning.

Instead of allowing the mayor to speak at the beginning of the meeting to accommodate his busy schedule, Pugh insisted Bing sit through more than an hour of public comments from a combative crowd.

Bing said he didn’t have the time and left to take a scheduled conference call. The same thing happened Friday.

If Bing weren’t scrambling to save the city from bankruptcy, Pugh’s adolescent posturing might be more amusing. But now Pugh has effectively delayed for four days a comment from the mayor that could impact urgent budget reductions.

“I would prefer that I give you my statement now or I’m going to have to leave and take the conference call,” Bing told Pugh during a public meeting this morning.

“OK, well,” Pugh responded, “we can wait until you come back for public comment.”

Times are tough enough in Detroit.

The last thing Detroit needs is a council president bent on creating divisions and obstacles.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.