Drama, deadlock ends with re-election of Detroit City Council president

Downtown Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Before Detroit City Council could begin providing services and paying the bills in the new year, the nine elected members had to choose a president.

Detroit Council President Brenda Jones

But after three consecutive votes, the nine-member council was deadlocked, unable to break a three-way tie between Brenda Jones, Andre Spivey and Mary Sheffield.

To find a solution, the council took two 15-minute recesses and a two-hour recess before coming up with a new plan – rank each candidate from one to three, and the two council members with the highest numbers would make it to the final round.

That eliminated Mary Sheffield.

Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey

In the fifth and final vote, the council voted 5-4 in favor of Jones, who was the previous council’s president.

Jones told council members she was prepared “to continue to service the city of Detroit to the best of my ability.”

The council chose Sheffield as president pro-tem.

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.