WARREN, Mich. – Tensions ran high in Warren Tuesday night as City Council members debated what to do about secret recordings believed to be of Mayor Jim Fouts.
There was discussion about trying to force the mayor to take a voice-recognition test, but the Council opted to do nothing, saying they don't have the authority to do so.
Council members went at each other over why agenda items dealing with the leaked audio tapes were not up for discussion.
In the end, the Council will do nothing about the recordings. That answer didn't sit well with pastor Mo Hardwick, who had a sit-down with Fouts since the tape broke, but hasn't seen any action.
"Now he's hunkering down and playing hide-and-go-seek and then he has his cronies in here on City Council," Hardwick said.
The meeting had far fewer in attendance than the last go-around, which had about 100 furious people.
"You need to take a stand for the truth, and you are afraid for the truth and you are afraid of the mayor, in my opinion," Dolores Pranchera said.
There were residents who defended Fouts, saying they don't believe he could ever say such horrible things.
"I truly do not believe this is Mr. Fouts speaking," a resident said.
Fouts took to Facebook Tuesday night after the meeting, posting the following message:
"Sometimes there is a real challenge. I try to be positive and up beat and a good servant of the public. But tonight was one of those nights when it's a challenge to overcome some negative media with a pretty brutal negative agenda. As well as a former city official attempting to get even with me for our police raiding his illegal drug office several times. He was on a local channel deflecting and blaming the police and myself for his greed at wanting to be an attorney with a pot party store. Another channel reporter had to try to indicate that something illegal was taking place in our city. Yet at the same time we have an outstanding police department combating Heroin, elder abuse, and illegal pot establishments. We have a fire department second to none with a gold award (for saving lives) from the American heart association several years in a row. We are the only city to get that award. Our fund balance is the strongest in the area and perhaps the state. We have a boom in development in the city with the first new first run theater in 40 years, new Super Krogers at 13 and Schoenherr, Super Meijer at 10 and Schoenherr, new Chrysler investment of 1/2 billion dollars and 2000 new jobs, GM 1 billion dollar investment, two new libraries, new south Warren Civic Center, and a host of other new developments including a solution to the flooding with a detention basin. Plus a new upscale downtown with a destination hotel designed by Gibbs Associates who designed the new downtown Birmingham. And my service to Warren residents 24/7. I try to return all calls at home on evenings and on the weekend and I try to find solutions to various residential problems. I have not taken a vacation since elected 9 years ago. I work through many of my lunch hours. And I'm happy to meet with residents with major concerns. Yet for some in the media and for some with an ax to grind it's not enough. I'm appreciative of those who showed up tonight to support me and express satisfaction with how the city is going. Thanks to those who helped to make this day a little less stressful. Thanks to the council majority for their support. Thanks to the people whom I serve and believe in me!"