Alright, so here’s what happened:
JoAnn Watson had been in talks with the Mayor since the weekend, trying to get him to resign. She had even called him as late as 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, right before the city council met, where they voted on 2 ways of ousting him.
After the meeting, and the votes to oust Kilpatrick, Watson’s aides gave her a piece of paper, a message from Kilpatrick urging her to reconsider her vote. The council adjourned, and she went down to talk to Kilpatrick face to face. She went in to his office, and after 15 minutes, reporters saw Sharon McPhail, former councilwoman, turned wanna-be mayor, turned aide to the man he ran against.
Watson had asked the mayor, again, to resign.
She told reporters what she had been telling him all along, “I urged him to resign if the council voted. I even said, ‘If there are issues around vesting your pension, I’m happy to play a role in assisting with that.’ He called back while I was in session.”
She went back to her office, ate lunch, and hoped Kilpatrick would call. She told reporters, “If he calls, I’ll answer, but if he doesn’t put it in writing, I’m not going to reconsider [my vote].” She would wait until 2:30, when the council would reconvene, and hear what she thought.
She told reporters as she waited, “He’ll call,” and he did call. As she talked in her office with the door wide open for the reporters to hear, here’s what was heard:
“You’re a young man. You can come back.”
“It’s not for us! It’s not for us, Mr. Mayor. It’s for the city!”
“The City Council had nothing to do with it.”
“‘When yall gonna take care of that?’ That’s what people ask me.”
“Mr. Mayor, we don’t want to! We want you to help the city move on. Help the city move on!”
“Didn’t Marion Barry [the former Washington, D.C. mayor who was busted for using crack] come back? He resigned and came back! You can resign and come back.” Well, Barry didn’t lose the city millions of dollars.
“Nobody wants a white woman in Lansing to decide the fate of a black man in Detroit. That’s why I’m begging you to resign.” HOLY CRAP! Well, that’s racist. If I said, “Nobody wants a black man in Lansing to decide the fate of a white man in Ohio,” everybody would swarm me and I’d never be able to run for public office.
Then, Cockrel knocked on her door and told her that the council couldn’t wait any longer, and she hung up the phone.
She left her office and told reporters that she would not be changing her vote. After the meeting, she sat in her office, when her aide told her, “You showed everybody how much of a chance you gave him,” but Watson replied, “It’s not about us. It’s for the city. The city deserves better, and who wants to be saddled with this drama for the next weeks and months? We have work to do. I’ve got to fight to get the incinerator closed. I’ve got to fight for summer job right now. All you have to do is look at the faces around the table. Nobody’s happy with it. There’s no dancing in the streets over this one. I said to him, ‘Resign.’ [He said] ‘I can’t. How will I fight?’ … If you’re thinking about using the mayor’s office to raise money for the defense fund, that’s not going to work anyway because the council will be watching every vendor you bring forth to see if they contributed.’ … This business is painful for me. It’s painful. My overwhelming concern is for the city, not one person. And as a city official, I must look at the big picture, and citizens don’t deserve to be submerged in this business any longer.”
She told reporters, “I perceived movement.”
She said that she doesn’t believe Kilpatrick’s lawyers when they say that there never was any movement, “He said it would look like he was giving up. I said no, it would look like he was stepping up. It acknowledges that the city is bigger than you.”
As of late Tuesday, the pair had not had any more conversations.
I honestly don’t even know why she tried. It’s obvious that Kilpatrick doesn’t have the city at heart.
I am somewhat (not completely – it’s the Detroit City Council, I’ll never be taken completely by surprise by anything they do) shocked that she admitted that one of the reasons he should resign is so that a white governor doesn’t step in and decide what happens to a black “man.” I can’t honestly call him a man – he acts like some gang animal. With all of his parties in Washington, D.C., and his attitude of being a mayor, he doesn’t deserve to share the tile of “man” with me and others.
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