Who leaves Detroit City Council next?

Gary Brown, Kwame Kenyatta leaving Detroit City Council, more members expected to follow

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown is joining Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's team as chief restructuring officer.

It's a natural fit for Brown who has been preaching streamlined city functions and fiscal responsibility since he first announced he was running for office. Brown was playing coy on Monday when asked about the date of his departure. However, well-placed sources tell Local 4 it is imminent.

Meanwhile, the long-absent Councilman Kwame Kenyatta is making it official: he's out as well. Kenyatta has been battling health problems but he has not hidden his disdain for the emergency manager or the City Council's lack of power.

As of now, President Charles Pugh, Ken Cockrel Jr., Andre Spivey, Saunteel Jenkins, Brendan Jones and James Tate are the remaining councilmembers.

City Hall is swirling that more departures are coming. Two names are being thrown around: Cockrel and Pugh.

Cockrel responded swiftly to speculation that he would be turning in his resignation and said he intends to fulfilling his term.

Local 4 has not heard from Charles Pugh.

So, do these departures really mean anything as far as political power in the city? The short answer is no.

"I'd be surprised if there were 2 or 3 left. When you've been stripped of your relevance, power and prestige there is really no reason to stick around and take up air," said political consultant Joe Munem.

The Detroit City Charter calls for the remaining City Council members to appoint people to fill the vacancies. It's unclear what happens now.

Council staff and lawyers for Orr are getting opinions on where to go from here.

Detroit City Council members have a $74,000 a year salary, not including the current benefit package.

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