Just last week, dozens of passionate and outraged residents were locked out of a pivotal public meeting because Council President Charles Pugh chose not to hold the session in the city’s large auditorium, which he has virtually avoided for two years. While he and his eight colleagues tackled the not-so-mild issue of saving the city from bankruptcy and state control in a cramped meeting room, residents who forked over $20 to park downtown or waited more than an hour for a bus were denied access to their elected officials.
So it was no surprise when the rejected crowd loudly began to demand the meeting be moved to the adjacent auditorium, a request that Pugh shrugged off. This has become routine for months.
It’s bad enough that someday soon there won’t be enough money to pay for police and fire protection or other basic services. Or that the state could cut off emergency funds, causing a shutdown in city services.
These aren’t just any public meetings; they will drive the direction of the city’s future – and ultimately our lives.
Pugh needs to be a leader of the people and hold meetings in the auditorium so everyone has a voice.
This isn’t Pugh’s city. It’s ours.
Give Pugh a shout out and let him know what you think.
Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Got tips or suggestions? Contact Steve at [email protected].
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.