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Group of Detroiters Urging ‘No’ On City Charter Changes

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DETROIT (WWJ) – On November 8, Detroiters will have to decide if they want a new city charter to replace the current one. This has at least one group of voters urging people to vote “no.”

Citizens for Detroit’s Future President Tom Barrow believes the proposed charter will “bloat” city government and says the creation of an Inspector General is the perfect example.

“It is an extremely expensive department that will cost into the tens of millions of dollars at a time that we simply do not have those kinds of resources,” Barrow said.

Barrow said that a whole new staff will be created within the department that will take more of the taxpayers money.

“It will require the hiring of a whole [staff] of lawyers, certified public accountants, bookkeepers, [and] accountants,” Barrow said.

The movement to revise the Detroit City Charter came about during the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal but Barrow thinks it is wrong to try to rewrite the city’s constitution because of one bad mayor.

“They put things in here that our city has never had that will remove power from the public [and] place it in the hands of outside corporations,” Barrow said. “It will enlarge city government at a time that we simply cannot afford that.”

Barrow, who has run for mayor three times, also says citizens should not vote for the new charter simply because they want Council by District because that already has voter approval and is coming in 2013.

The proposed charter adds one hundred and fifty changes to the way Detroit’s government operates.

Free copies of the proposed charter are available online and at local libraries.

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