In the red car is City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry. He's filling in as council president today, so we tried to ask him about this resolution about a leave for the council. He's supposed to be filling in as president, but he didn't seem very presidential.
Councilman Cushingberry. councilman pro tem, will you speak to this resolution? It says that the council wants to take some time off. Is this just extending your recess, taking more vacation?
"Back off of him," said Detroit City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry.
"You back off of him," said Cushingberry.
Sir. Don't touch me, officer. Please don't touch me.
The question George Cushingberry doesn't want to answer is why, at the same time they're hoping to get more salary, the city council gave itself almost an extra week off in April.
Councilman Cushingberry, can we have a minute, Mr. President?
"No," said Cushingberry.
You're the president now, sir. Can you speak for the council? Please? Part of the job.
But he's not the only council official reluctant to answer.
Councilman, can we speak to you when you're done?
Hey, councilwoman can we talk to you for a second?
Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez took some questions.
I'm wondering if you're aware of this resolution to adjourn council?
"We passed it last week," said Detroit City Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez.
I'm just wondering, what is the thinking behind that?
"I would ask the council president," said Castaneda-Lopez.
She's not here and the council president pro tem is refusing to talk to us.
"I don't know. It wasn't a resolution that I drafted so I can't speak to it," said Castaneda-Lopez.
The closest I could get to Council President Brenda Jones was her Chief of Staff Stephen Grady.
If the council president won't speak to this and the president pro tem won't speak to this, who is going to speak to this for council?
"You can't talk to me," said Chief of Staff Stephen Grady.
"There you go, I can't speak for council," said Grady.
Can you send the president pro tem out here to address this? He wants to wear the big-boy pants. We'll get him a belt
The issue I wanted cleared up is why council voted last week to give itself a spring break. Council is in session for ten months out of the year, as you can see from this resolution passed last year, council members typically take a week off in April for budget analysis, but council passed the budget early this year. This year's resolution makes no mention of budget analysis, so it looks like they just decided to take some extra time off. Only Councilman James Tate voted against the measure.
Because there might be a good explanation for what looks like an extra vacation, I wanted to give Mr. Cushingberry one last chance to step up to the mantle of leadership.
Councilman, you wanted to be president pro tem. it's time to be the big man here. Can you answer a question as a public official?