Embattled Warren Mayor Fouts delivers State of the City - on video
WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - Warren Mayor Jim Fouts delivered his state of the city address, but instead of speaking to a room full of colleagues, constituents and cameras, he recorded it.
Now many are accusing the embattled mayor of hiding.
"The state of the city of Warren has never been better than it has been this year," he said.
The state of the city address is an annual event in most major cities and Warren is no exception. But on Wednesday night Mayor Jim Fouts delivered that address via videotape, speaking to an empty room.
FOX 2: "You took an unorthodox approach to presenting that message without an audience, was that to cut down on distractions?"
"The main reason I did that is because I wanted to focus on all the great things going on in Warren," Fouts said. "And I did not want to have any other distractions."
The distractions revolve around audio recordings allegedly of the mayor saying various discriminating things about race, gender, and mental illness. Allegations that have prompted failed attempts to get Fouts thrown out from his position.
FOX 2: "Going forward how can you tackle these distractions in the city?"
"Going forward I am focusing on my job and I'm focusing on serving and protecting the citizens of Warren," Fouts said. "And that in itself is the solution to any problem that might exist."
Regardless of how the message was delivered, Fouts says there is a lot to be proud of in Warren.
"I challenge you to find another city that has all this great economic and commercial growth," he said. "I challenge you to find another city that is building two new libraries, a new police and new fire station. We're doing all of these things and in terms of diversity we are the only city in the state that has a diversity coordinator and we are doing things for people with special needs that no other city has ever done."
When it comes to specific questions about those audio tapes and the six recently failed recall attempts, the mayor says he's not ready to speak out them at this time.