DETROIT (WWJ) – A State Senator from Harrison Township has angered Detroit City Council members by calling the legislative body “blatantly stupid and dysfunctional” for rejecting the governor’s plan to turn Belle Isle into a state park.
Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said State Senator Jack Brandenburg’s remarks were borderline racist.
“This so-called senator denigrates the entire city council as well as the citizens who elected us,” said Kenyatta. “And I think that’s been the problem with the posture of many legislators for the state for a long time. That’s why you have that divide; that’s why you have that mistrust.”
Kenyatta said the state handed Council an “empty” 90-year contract that was simply not acceptable. “He [Brandenburg] is saying we’re not supposed to do our job … when you say ‘jump’ we’re supposed to say, ‘How high?’ Because the state puts something on the table does not mean that we’re supposed to accept it without investigation,” he said.
Belle Isle, 985-acre island located midway between Detroit and Windsor, has been owned by the city since 1879. In recent years the island has suffered as Detroit can’t afford needed repairs.
Council is expected review alternative plans for raising revenue to improve Belle Isle next week. Kenyatta said he believe the city can maintain Belle Isle if the administration is willing.