Thursday, January 09, 2014

Brenda Jones becomes President of the Detroit City Council

Councilwoman Brenda Jones at a WCO Meeting
Photo by Frank Nemecek
Earlier this week, Councilwoman Brenda Jones was elected President of the Detroit City Council in an internal election. She defeated Councilwoman Shanteel Jenkins, who previously served as President.

The internet and newspaper columns promptly exploded with criticism of Jones and the Council Members who voted for her. Included in that mix was Councilman Gabe Leland from the 7th District, which includes the Warrendale neighborhood, who backed Jones.

I love Councilwoman Shanteel Jenkins. I think she did a fine job as President and would have continued to do a fine job if the vote had gone in her favor.

I also love Councilwoman Jones and believe she will also do a fine job as President. When I was President of the Warrendale Community Organization, she attended our meeting more often than the other eight members combined. If we needed something, she not only helped us but asked if there was anything else that she could do.

Much of the criticism of Jones stems from the fact that she has opposed almost every change in Detroit that Governor Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr have proposed. Her opposition to those proposals, though, doesn't bother me.

The fact of the matter is that - more than a year after the consent decree and 10 months after Orr's appointment - these reforms have produced very little benefit to Detroit residents. One official after another has promised that results are right around the corner. I, however, am reminded of the old adage, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," and, when it comes to the reforms pushed by Lansing, there simply hasn't been a lot to eat.

The question one then has to ask is: how upset should over someone objecting to reforms that never produced any real results for residents?

The answer, I'm afraid, is not very.

Councilwoman Shanteel Jenkins is an outstanding member of the Detroit City Council. However, let's stop pretending that everything is going to be horrible just because someone else is President.

No comments: