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Mayor Threatens To Cancel Detroit Fireworks

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said the fate of this year's International Freedom Festival may be in the hands of City Council. The mayor told WWJ-Radio that if City Council votes on Monday to remove 600 police officers and 120 firefighters as part of its budget plan, he would cancel the event.

"This is about the public safety of the citizens of Detroit," Kilpatrick said in a phone interview with Local 4 on Friday.

After nine people were shot at last year's Freedom Festival, the mayor said he won't put a partial police force out with thousands of spectators on the streets, Local 4 reported.

"My reaction is that playground bullying is not going to solve the financial problems of this city," said City Council President Maryann Mahaffey.

Mahaffey said private funds pay for the fireworks and the city can afford to police the festival.

Kilpatrick and City Council agree that cuts need to be made to overcome a projected budget shortfall of more than $300 million, but their plans call for different approaches to achieving that goal, Local 4 reported.

In a live address on Local 4 at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Kilpatrick "strongly" vetoed council's budget plan.

"More than 90 percent of City Council's proposed budget cuts severely impact public safety, therefore, I must veto the entire proposed budget," Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick's cuts are smaller in size, but some council members say they're unrealistic and rely on revenues from deals that have yet to be reached, such as a regional authority taking over Cobo Center and the city's bus system, the station reported.

Debbie Dingell, the chairperson of The Parade Company, which runs the Freedom Festival, said she was "disappointed" in the mayor's comments.

"I have to say that I'm disappointed that the mayor did make those comments this afternoon," Dingell said. "I think (the Freedom Festival) is important, not only for the people of the city of Detroit, but it's a very important regional event."

City Council members will meet on Monday, where Mahaffey expects they will gather enough votes to override the mayor's veto.

Kilpatrick said he plans to work with council members over the weekend to try to reach an agreement.

2,006 Posts
Bla bla bla. Does anyone really care about this ass clown of a mayor??? :bash:

V-Twin Moddin
38,916 Posts
Yeah, the problem here is that the mayor is playing hard with the people on the council to make himself look better and for politic reasons. He is going to running for office against some of these clowns on council. The only people that are going to truly pay for this is the citizens and biz owners!
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