Detroit's new City Council has been seated and gets to work in earnest next week.
Four of its six newcomers shared their priorities in interviews with Deadline Detroit following the November election. In District 7, Councilmember Fred Durhal III, a former state representative who replaces the disgraced Gabe Leland, says his focuses will include addressing the overtaxation of property owners, public safety, and quality of life issues. The district where he was born and raised is one of the city's poorest.
Durhal says he wants to see more resources deployed there, in the form of home demolitions or rehabs, speed humps, and the clearing of illegal dump sites. He also plans to try to secure money for at least one recreation and community center.
To address the issue of the reported $600 million overtaxation of residents over approximately the past decade, Durhal says he'll seek to create a reimbursement fund by earmarking money raised from the sale of Land Bank-owned homes.
He says he also hopes to increase the police budget to raise officer pay enough to remedy an ongoing retention problem.
Our full interview: