Detroit City Council Formal Session, 10 a.m.

Detroit City Council


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Edited and summarized by the Detroit - MI Documenters Team

Note-taking by Sonja Stuckey

City Council establishes the first Industry Standards Board “to recommend basic health, safety, wage and job standards” for arena workers.

Live reporting by Kayleigh Lickliter

City Council establishes the first Industry Standards Board “to recommend basic health, safety, wage and job standards” for arena workers.

Kayleigh Lickliter @kayleighrenel
Goooood morning, Detroit! 🌤️💐

I’ll be live-tweeting the Detroit City Council Formal Session meeting today at 10:00am for #DETdocumenters

@media_outlier @BridgeDet313 @freep @PlanetDetroit @wdet @metrotimes @chalkbeatDET @MichiganRadio @wxyzdetroit @DetDocumenters

08:32 AM May 23, 2023 CDT

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See the top of agenda for instructions to attend by phone, or visit city council’s website at to obtain the Zoom link.
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If you want to watch but not participate, you can tune in to Channel 10 to watch live…
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If you’re following along with me today, watch for a ‘🚨’ to signify the start of public comments!
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Catch up on the latest with @DetDocumenters’ weekly newsletter! 📰…
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The meeting is called to order at 10:08am! 🎉
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Invocation by Pastor David Fielder this morning (pictured bottom left) 🙏🏼
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Note: Councilmember Fred Durhal is not present today.
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Moving forward on the agenda ➡️

City council is presenting Spirit of Detroit awards to multiple recipients today.
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First up, councilmember Scott Benson is presenting Spirit of Detroit awards to individuals involved in Movement Electronic Music Festival and/or the techno industry
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More info about the festival is available on it’s website ⬇️
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Benson welcomed John Collins with the Entertainment Commission to introduce 11 award recipients.
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Note: I apologize in advance if I don’t catch any names of the artists being recognized today!
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John Collins is pictured on the right. Spirit of Detroit award recipients are pictured to his left.
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Rick Wilhite, Shari Vari, Mike Grant, Delano Smith, David and Melissa Armin-Parcells (Motor City Wine) are some of the names of those who received awards for their work in the music industry and Movement festival
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And that’s a wrap on movement/music-related awards! 🎶
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Next award presentation is by Councilmember Coleman Young for Ms. Candice Jackson, a DPSCD teacher who was named as Michigan Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Dept of Education.

Jackson is the first Detroit public schools teacher to be awarded
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More about Ms. Jackson being named as Michigan’s Teacher of the Year, courtesy of @chalkbeatDET ⬇️…
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Ms. Jackson (pictured on the right) accepted the award. She was accompanied by her mom (pictured on the left) 🥺🥰
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Next award ➡️ Councilmember Young is presenting an award to Mr. Tyrell Slappey. #x' target='_blank'>…
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Slappey was recognized by @MIChronicle in 2021 during Black Male Teacher Appreciation Week.…
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Mr. Slappey (pictured right) was also accompanied by his mom (left) 🥹🥰
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Moving forward on the agenda ➡️ Items under sections 6 through 10 were referred to the appropriate standing committees.
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🚨 Public comment is starting now! Starting with in-person participants
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1. “I should get a certificate for coming down here and spending my money, waiting to hear all that, you know, all of the awards and stuff. I should get an award.” Said he’s experienced several challenges as he’s tried to obtain a vendor license.
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President Sheffield said she’ll have her team work with him to walk him through the process to obtain a vendor license.

Pro Tem James Tate recommended Zoom as an option to attend council meetings for people who might have a problem with waiting through award presentations.
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2. Shared concerns about conflicting legal opinions the public and city council have received from the city’s bond counsel re: notice requirements when bonds are issued
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3. Echoed comments from the previous commenter and asked what laws bond counsel and the city are following when it comes to public notices for municipal bonds.
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4. National Federation of the Blind. Concerned about the current paratransit contract. The Office of Contracting & Procurement said they won't speak to them about it or release info until the end of May. Concerned this puts council's back against the wall, as was done before.
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4 (continued) - acknowledged the improvements that have been made under the emergency contract but said the work is not over.
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President Sheffield directed the previous caller to stay tuned to the Public Health & Safety standing committee for updates about the future of paratransit
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5. Explained why arena workers need a standards board. Has been working at Ford field for 17 years, in addition to the 2nd and 3rd jobs she's had to work because of low pay. Said arena workers need paid time off and health benefits, and the board could support these standards.
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6. Read a letter from a member of a SEIU local union who worked at Comerica Park. Supports the creation of an industry standards board.
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7. Has worked in the entertainment industry for 30 years and business agent for IATSE Local 38. The union represents 650 concert, audio/visual tech workers in Detroit. Supports creating an industry standards board.
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8. 27-year member of Local 1. "Being a resident in the city of Detroit, one job should be enough." Said single moms have been forced to work more than one job. "That's not fair. That's not what the American dream is." Supports the industry standards board.
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9. Interested in an open position on Belle Isle and it sounds like he has had issues applying and/or being hired.
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10. Wants to see the Skillman Library re-opened and said they'd like to know if they can use a portion of the tax-increment financing money to re-open it.
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11. Acknowledged the efforts of various council members and city agencies to improve the city.
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12. Has been a Detroiter for 47 years. Lost her home due to over-taxation. She was evicted a couple years ago and has been living in a hotel w/ her daughter. She's being told she has to be out of the hotel before 11am tomorrow due to non-compliance.
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12 (continued) She was asked to go to Detroit at Work, where she said a worker "pulls her chair up and watches me apply for jobs". She said "I'm not doing that. I'm too old for this. I know how to apply for a job."
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Councilmember Mary Waters responded and said her staff has been working with the commenter and they're trying to have her agree to certain terms so she can get to the next step.
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13. Said someone was "lying through your teeth" when they said things were done accordingly re: bond notices. Sheffield intervened when his comments became derogatory. She said she's not trying to censor him but wants to maintain decorum.
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14. Said she's being evicted through no fault of her own and has been in a cycle of moving into a new rental home and being forced out after inspections fail. Said council says they want to help but they ultimately do not.
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And that concludes in-person comments, now moving to virtual.
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15. Their concern sent council members a video of security guards "disrespectful behavior" at Rosa Parks Transit Center. Hasn't received answers re: Housing & Revitalization Dept awarding $$ to housing agencies that have put people in "deplorable, unsafe conditions"
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16. Supports creating gun free zones and wants to think of Detroit as a "starting point". Said the audio issues are getting "ridiculous" and those running the media department aren't doing a good job.
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17. Said no state or city has the drag racing and red light running problem that Detroit has. Asked council to "work a little harder"
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18. Said it's against the Open Meetings Act to not allow access to a public meeting, noting there's an auditorium that can hold everyone. Asked about an ARPA contract to assist landlords with their properties. Supports increased pay for bus drivers.
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19. Said Proposal P would've cut "all the red tape of bureaucracy" and solved problems for renters, homeowners, stakeholders, etc. "You need to stop letting Mayor Duggan and other officials boss you around. You need to set standards"
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20. Member of SEIU and supports the industry standards board.
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21. Gave shout outs to various people involved with DDOT's community input meetings. Said buses aren't showing up at night and asked if there was any update on increasing bus driver pay.
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22. Asked questions about a revenue contract involving the Public Lighting Authority/Department. Asked council to take a look at the PLA contracts and questioned whether there were qualified employees involved
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23. Supports property tax reform and compensation for those whose properties were illegally overtaxed and foreclosed on.
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24. Ms. Maddox - I didn't quite make out what she was communicating.
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25. Concerned about various IT contracts and an emergency demo contract. Said the property to be demoed sat burnt for years and asked why contracts are coming to council for payment after the job is finished. Doesn't think ARPA should be used for commercial demo.
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26. Said she wasn't at last week's meeting "because my blood pressure was shot" Recently contacted by the land bank re: setting up a meeting and a postcard re: a property near hers. Concerned about a property w/ ice cream trucks being parked on a property that isn't owned by them
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27. Talked about a neighborhood resource fair her block club is holding. Looking to get the word out. They gave away 100 bikes last year, school supplies, etc. and haircutting/braiding for children.
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28. Wants the city to stop putting band-aids on important issues and use the funding available for actual solutions.
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29. Asked about an update on temporary paratransit contracts and wage negotiations for bus drivers.
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And that concludes public comment for today!
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➡️ Jumping ahead on the agenda to address a resolution about establishing an industry standards board (17.9)…
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Sheffield thanked members of SEIU for showing up and delivering over 150 signatures in support of arena workers creating an industry standards board.
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Describing what the board would do, Sheffield said "it gives workers a seat at the table with respect to their employers and how they determine their wages and helps improve the overall quality of life for the residents who work day-in and day-out in this city."
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Sheffield said they created their own seat at the table through the ordinance. "I am proud to be a sponsor of this landmark legislation that sends a signal that workers matter."
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A motion to walk-on an amended version of the resolution was approved.
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The next step for the industry standards board is to appoint individuals to serve on it.
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➡️ Jumping ahead to 20.23 (out of order, again) to discuss an ordinance amendment to establish a temporary curfew during the annual fireworks show
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Deputy Chief Hayes said the purpose of the ordinance is to "promote parental responsibility", noting the number of youth that attend the fireworks show.
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The temporary curfew has been used in previous years. During last year's fireworks, they arrested two adults who DC Hayes said had "poor conflict resolution skills" and went to jail.
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DC Hayes said officers won't write tickets unless attention is called to the area where minors are, such as a fight. Minors who are in violation of the curfew will be taken to a processing center where their parent/guardian will be contacted.
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DPD will have a "robust information campaign" to get the word out about the curfew change, both on DPD and the city's social media and printed press. It will also be communicated during neighborhood meetings.
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DC Hayes credited Chief White's 12-point strategy for the reason why they haven't seen the same level of crime and violence that took place in April.
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20.23 introduces the ordinance to establish a temporary curfew. 20.24 sets a public hearing for the amendment. The change won't be approved until after the public hearing is held.
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⬅️ Back to section 16 on the agenda.

All items under section 16 were approved
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➡️ Section 17

17.1 and 17.2 were approved

Notice of an executive reorganization plan related to changes under the demolition department. A public hearing about the plan is scheduled for June 7th at 10:15am
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17.3 failed approval. A closed session was previously held about the matter.
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All remaining items under section 17 have been approved
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➡️ Section 18 - Items referred out of the Planning & Economic Development Committee
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Discussion on 18.1:

HRD is working with the law department to create a contractual agreement that would establish requirements to guarantee affordability for a number of years, as well as maintaining a certificate of compliance.
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The requirements would be in place even if the property changes hands. They’re still working out the details but there may be a provision that requires repayment if the landlord falls out of compliance during a 5-year period
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18.10 is a brownfield plan for 450 Amsterdam and will be postponed for another week
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With the exception of 18.10, all matters under section 18 have been approved
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➡️ Section 19 - Items referred out of Public Health & Safety Standing Committee
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Councilmember Santiago-Romero addressed emergency demolition contracts under section 19. She noted that a number of them were already demolished and one was removed.
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Santiago-Romero asked that contract review reports include the date a structure was demolished when the contract is submitted after work has finished. A motion for this request was approved. She’ll be submitting a memo in support.
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All items under Section 19 have been approved
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➡️Section 20 - New Business
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20.19 is a $3.2M contract with Feldman Ford to purchase vehicles. Benson acknowledged the administration is moving towards it’s greenhouse gas goals by opting for hybrid and EV-options through this contract and those like it.
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All remaining items under section 20 were approved
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➡️ There are a couple of changes and walk-on items.

26.7 was referred *out of* committee but was mistakenly submitted as an item to be referred to committee. This was moved to new business for a vote and approved.
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Items were passed out to council members for their review and the administration is requesting that those items be walked-on to the agenda and referred to the appropriate standing committee(s). There are 5 walk-on items today.
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A walk-on item for authorization to submit a grant application to the state pension grant program.
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Other walk-on items include a memo about a landlord program, a memo from Young re: impact of a “just cause evictions” ordinance, a request to appropriate historic preservation funds, and a memo re: oversight of the Jefferson Chalmers water project.
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Items under sections 22 through 26 were referred to the appropriate standing committees.

(As a note, City Council voted on items under sections 16 through 20 today)
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➡️ Motion to suspend members reports is approved
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Sheffield said the Neighborhood & Community Services committee will not meet next week due to members being at the Mackinaw Policy Conference
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Other announcements 📢

June 20th at 2:00pm - City Council will meet in Committee of the Whole for three towing petitioners.

June 12th at 1:00pm - Special Session regarding demolition contractors.
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With nothing further on the agenda, the meeting was adjourned at 1:07pm 🎉
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This concludes the Detroit City Council Formal Session meeting on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023.

For more meeting coverage, check out
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By Sonja Stuckey 5/23/2023

Agency Information

Detroit City Council

See Documenters reporting

The Detroit City Council is the legislative body of Detroit, Michigan, United States. The Council is responsible for the creation of local laws—called ordinances. Additionally they pass resolutions, motions, and the proposed city budget. The full-time council is required to meet every business day for at least 10 months of the year, with at least eight of these meetings occurring at a location besides city hall. The council may convene for special meetings at the call of the mayor or at least four members of council. Areas of responsibility for the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee include, Budget, Finance and the Auditor General.

City Council members are elected on the same cycle as the Mayor and will be elected in 2021. Seven members represent the seven council districts, while two members are elected at-large.


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