Detroit City Council members clash at Tuesday night community meeting

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, Councilman Ken Cockrel clash over Detroit emergency financial manager


DETROIT – Detroit residents packed Greater Christ Baptist Church for Tuesday night's City Council community meeting which displayed some clashing between council members.

During a question and answer session Councilwoman JoAnn Watson said residents should be more concerned about their Constitutional rights being taken away after listening to Councilman Ken Cockrel tell residents that they were the reason the city will be under the direction of an emergency financial manager appointed by the state of Michigan.

Cockrel said Detroit residents didn't seem concerned about showing up to vote in previous gubernatorial elections but now they complain about what the governor wants to do.

"The city of Detroit by far is the largest city in the state of Michigan. We also have the largest concentration of voters. But you know what the problem is? Most of those registered voters don't go to the polls. They don't vote," Cockrel said. "There is absolutely no reason that the city of Detroit doesn't hand-pick a governor every four years."

However, Watson said it's "Right-Wing agenda" at work and residents have had their rights stripped away.

"No one has the right to take away the Constitutional rights of the people. And the people who vote in Detroit voted for us. So what we need to do is stand up and fight! Voting rights are under assault in this city and we ought not be blaming the victims," Watson said.

The next community meetings to be hosted by the Detroit City Council are May 21 and Jun 18.

Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr will take the reigns of the city on March 24.

Orr's appointment has come under scrutiny after it was learned he had liens on his property in Maryland. Orr claims the liens were an oversight on his part. He has taken full responsibility and has paid the liens, he said.

Saunteel Jenkins with Ken Cockrel Jr.
Saunteel Jenkins with Ken Cockrel Jr.

Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins and Councilman Ken Cockrel