DETROIT (AP) – Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has tossed his economic stimulus plan onto the City Council’s court, but it’s unclear if Detroit’s legislative arm is willing to play along.
The embattled mayor, despite facing felony perjury and other criminal charges, continues to promote the more than $300 million bond proposal to improve city infrastructure and services.
Yesterday, he outlined how $15 million of that amount would provide loans for existing businesses in Detroit and venture capital for entrepreneurs.
“We don’t want businesses to grow up and leave. We want them to grow up and stay,” Kilpatrick said.
He urged the Council to pass the plan and criticized hearings delving into the machinations behind an agreement to settle two whistle-blowers’ lawsuits for $8.4 million.
“All of the other things we’re dealing with won’t help get anyone a job,” he said of the hearings.
But Council has only received drafts of the proposal and is not scheduled to discuss the plan until April 25, Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel said.
“This proposal is being, in a sense, driven by the mayor’s campaign needs for a good story,” she said.
“Every document I have is a draft. I need to see transaction documents. Give me the deal documents.”
Council members have been critical of Kilpatrick and last month passed a resolution calling for him to resign during a current text-messaging sex scandal.
Kilpatrick and former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty face a June 9 preliminary examination on felony perjury, misconduct and other charges.
They are accused of lying under oath during a whistle-blowers’ lawsuit. Both denied having a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003. Kilpatrick also is accused of lying under oath about his role in the firing of a top police official.
But sexually explicit text messages left on Beatty’s city-issued pager and published in January by the Detroit Free Press contradict their testimony.
Those text messages were referenced in a confidential agreement related to the $8.4 million settlement.
The City Council will hold its second day of hearings Thursday to find out why it was not told of the confidential agreement or the text messages when they approved the settlement last fall.
Kilpatrick has blasted the hearings, saying no new information will come from them and calling them a waste of time.
Instead, the Council should focus on job creation, Detroit’s slumped economy and other challenges facing the city, Kilpatrick said.
“This is a call to go back to work,” he said Wednesday while pushing the economic stimulus plan.