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Detroit City Council Recesses In Response to COVID-19, Hampering Budget Vote

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Image credit: Eli Newman / WDET

Plans for Detroit City Council to vote on Mayor Mike Duggan’s $2.4 billion budget by April 7 have been thrown into question as the council figures out how to hold public meetings under coronavirus restrictions.

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Detroit City Council will recess for one week out of concern for COVID-19, hampering plans to move forward on city business. 

Health advisories against public gatherings drove the decision. But some members fear the move will create a tight deadline for Council to consider Mayor Mike Duggan’s recently presented $2.4 billion dollar plan for the city, which was due for a vote by April 7.

We don’t know what’s going to happen in even two weeks.” — City Council President Brenda Jones

City Council President Pro-Tem Mary Sheffield says the break could last for weeks.

As we monitor what happened, there are things that are moving day-to-day, hour-by-hour, [requiring us to] remove ourselves from the business of the city,” says Sheffield.

 City Council President Brenda Jones says video-conferencing could be an option, but that might require a week’s training.

I do think the video conferencing does need to be put in place because we don’t know what’s going to happen in even two weeks,” says Jones.

Detroit City Council could decide on the video-conferencing question before recess. Legal analysts with the city say an emergency executive order amending Michigan’s Open Meetings Act does not provide clear guidelines on the issue for municipalities. 

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Eli Newman, Reporter/Producer

Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.

eli.newman@wdet.org Follow @other_eli

This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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