Riot rumors stir city officials; R-TAB meeting goes off with out incident

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – The March 4 Receivership Transition Advisory Board meeting went off without incident despite earlier concerns about possible protests.

The monthly meeting, which was cancelled last month, met in the G. Mennen Williams Building in Lansing. City officials haven’t explained why. Those officials did not respond to questions by press time.

Two other city officials claimed they feared rioting.

“It should not be a surprise, however, that enough anger exists in this community to have some imagine things getting kind of wound up given the fiasco that has surrounded incommunicative nature of both the R-TAB and (ousted City Administrator Karen) Folks,” Councilman Dennis Hayes wrote in a letter to fellow council members. “Recall, protests if not riots, have occurred with fire department issues and the like in the past.

“A riot? That might be a little exaggerated, but given the people in this city who live in seeming constant fear, I would not be surprised that a city employee or two made these comments in the full belief of them.”

During the meeting, R-TAB members poured over two months of city council’s financial approvals. But the elephant in the room was the location. That question wasn’t answered.

One person associated with the city sent a copy of an article on the Downriver Sunday Times website regarding the location change to all the elected city officials and suggested the two people who made the remark about rioting, resign.

Two non-elected officials made the remark, saying there would be rioting because City Administrator Karen Folks was going to receive a $47,500 severance package for a just cause termination. This amount is closer to $60,000 with her retirement package payout.

About seven city officials, most elected, showed for the meeting.

“They didn’t really say,” said Councilman Dennis Hayes about the change of venue.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at tnims@bewickpublications.com.)

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