Print Friendly and PDF

Detroit Charter Revisions Must Be Removed From Aug. 3 Ballot

On Wednesday, May 26, Wayne County Circuity Court Judge Timothy Kenny ruled that the proposed City Charter governing document cannot go before voters on Aug. 3. The Rev. Horace Sheffield III, a longtime activist and pastor, and Detroit resident Rodrick Harbin on May 17 filed a lawsuit arguing that the proposal could not be placed on the ballot because the changes were not approved by Gov. Whitmer.

“In the absence of approval from the governor, the proposed charter revision cannot be placed on the ballot and submitted to the voters,” Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny wrote in his Wednesday opinion and decision on the lawsuit.

The Detroit Regional Chamber opposed the proposed city charter revision. “Over the past few years, Detroiters worked hard to show the world that the City is a great place where businesses and workers can succeed, with a well-functioning city government,” said Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy Baruah. “The charter adds cumbersome bureaucracy that will curtail both economic development efforts and efficient service delivery to residents. This additional bureaucracy will also hamper the city’s ability to accelerate out of the pandemic shutdowns and make the most of the American Rescue Plan resources.

Judge Kenny made it clear in his ruling that he wasn’t wading into the politics of the issue. “The court cannot and shall not consider the political and policy issues arising from Proposal P, instead it focuses solely upon the fundamental question regarding the placement of Proposal P upon the ballot for the Aug. 3 primary,” the judge wrote.

The Chamber will continue to monitor the legal proceedings related to the proposed changes to the Detroit City Commission.