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Restructuring plan targets Detroit City Council

Paul Hitzelberger
United Photo Works

Consultants are working on all kinds of plans to re-shape Detroit city departments, and two such plans were previewed at a Detroit Financial Advisory Board meeting Monday.

One is to drastically downsize the Detroit City Council, and make its members part-time, with just one staff member each

Council member Saunteel Jenkins says that would completely change the Council’s role in city government.

“We couldn’t address constituent concerns, approve contracts, research contracts and conflicts of interest,” said Jenkins. “All of those things we do now…there’s no way we’d be able to do them.”

The other proposal suggested ways to consolidate the Detroit Police Department—and that the department adopt the Compstat model of policing.

Detroit Police Sergeant Mark Young says all these plans need to keep the rank-and-file in mind.

“They need the tools to do their job, and some support,” Young said. “They also need some stability.”

The outlines come from the Birmingham-based consulting firm Conway-McKenzie. The city has retained a half-dozen outside firms to help officials make restructuring decisions.

All final decisions will be made by Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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