Hello Residents of Eastpointe,
I took no pleasure in offering a motion to censure the Mayor at our City Council meeting yesterday. She called the Public Safety Director asking for a police presence, simply for feeling disrespected. And also, she threatened to remove a board member, and asked the City Manager to remove a board member (neither of which are the appropriate way to handle the situation). These abuses of power cannot be tolerated. All citizens in Eastpointe should have equal access to the police, and the Mayor and City Council should not be abusing their access to the police (the police department reports to the City Manager who reports to City Council). City Council members should be calling 911 or the non-emergency line if police resources are needed (I have done both). They should not be calling the Public Safety Director instead. Board members in the community, who volunteer their time, should not be subject to threats from the Mayor (or other City Council members).
Following the Ethics Board meeting on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, the Mayor gathered the attention of everyone in the gallery and started to explain how the City has discriminated against her for five years. This is all I heard, as Alysa and I were walking out. She continues to push a narrative like this. One year after being elected to City Council in 2017, Councilwoman Owens held a fundraiser celebrating one year as a Councilperson. I attended this fundraiser (as did two other Councilpersons). At the fundraiser, she asked me to stand, and thanked me for supporting her in front of all the attendees. I had offered to knock doors with her prior to her election, and she had still appreciated the offer (our schedules never ended up syncing, and we did not end up knocking doors together). Then, in June 2019, I had announced my run for Mayor, but Councilwoman Owens had not yet. She attended my fundraiser, and donated. Shortly after, she announced she was also going to run for Mayor also. To say she has been discriminated against by myself or my wife for five years (or any amount of time), is simply not true.
What did cause a rift, was when on December 17, 2019, Mayor Owens said the City Council and residents treated her like it was "1922 Mississippi" during the meeting. What I believe she was referring to, is when City Council voted "no" on her requests for a City-provided car, for her own office (City Council shares one office currently), and her picture hung in all City buildings (these were all items she added to the agenda). The City did hang all the Mayor portraits in City Council chambers (including Mayor Owens of course, although Mayor Accavitti and Mayor Austin were missing for quite a while despite my having supplied the City with their photos). Also, new, larger nametags for the Mayor and City Council were approved.
For anyone asking "Why can't Councilman DeMonaco just get along with Mayor Owens?" (or vice-versa). Would you get along with someone who claims you treated her like "1922 Mississippi"? Nine days after this claim, I had a ruptured brain aneurysm. I was in the ICU for 11 days. One of the days, Mayor Owens showed to the ICU unannounced and uninvited with a friend I barely knew. Since only days before she had implied I discriminated against her, I asked her to leave. Both her and her friend fortunately did leave. Then, at the next meeting I attended (I missed one due to being in the ICU), she went on to score political points saying "welcome back again Cardi DeMonaco. I visited him in the hospital, me and my assistant. I was actually in Atlanta when I found out that you were in the hospital. And once I got off the plane I came to visit you. I don't know if you remember that but me and my assistant came to visit you to make sure you were okay." Not only did she not mention that I asked her to leave, but she also said "I don't know if you remember" as if I was brain dead in the hospital. Then, just the next month, all of these issues happened related to the complaint submitted by Alysa to the Board of Ethics (she called the police on Alysa, and threatened to remove her from the Arts & Cultural Diversity Commission, and asked the City Manager to remove her). Now, please tell me this: Is this someone that you would "just get along with"? I am supposed to forget all this happened, and just "get along" with her?
It hurt to make the motion and vote to censure Mayor Owens. I took no pleasure in it, but it had to be done. Her behavior has been despicable. Having said that, she "declared victory" (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AjXTnhLdJ_ZfjZJG1T6i3XBB3Gnhmw?e=HzSVSa) after the Board of Ethics dismissed the complaint against her saying it did not have jurisdiction. Instead of explaining her actions or addressing the issue, she found a way to get off on a technicality (without having to address the board). That is why I brought the issue to the City Council (since the Board of Ethics did not rule on the actual complaint). The news release she posted this past Friday states that it was a "2 year battle with ethics board" - but that is not true. The complaint was filed January 25, 2022. The complaint was regarding an event in February 2020. Alysa provided a note as to why it was submitted when it was. It was submitted because after a January 2022 City Council meeting Mayor Owens denied to me the whole situation ever happened. She told me she did not call the police. She told me someone else did. She also says in her statement that "city officials" are calling this all a "witch hunt". The only city official commenting on this and calling it a "witch hunt" would be her. Also, it is quite ironic that she called the police on my wife for not calling her "Mayor Owens" but refers to Alysa and I as "usual suspects" in her news release and does not even bother to refer to us by name, let alone title. She also says that there is a "negative effect" by bringing this forward. This would never have to be brought forward if she never treated people like she does. And she also said it caused the city "thousands of dollars in taxpayer's money" which could have been avoided. In that same vein, we could stop investigating all crimes in the City and save the taxpayers additional money. And again, quite ironic that submitting an ethics complaint is an "unnecessary escalation" according to her, when she CALLED THE POLICE because she was not called "Mayor". There are other inaccuracies, such as referring to a "previous board", and then in her normal fashion, uses the opportunity to pitch her book (it's unethical every time she pitches her book for personal profit at a City Council meeting or any other City opportunity).
Hopefully we are able to move forward as a City, but it is doubtful to me that the Mayor's words and actions are going to change, even after censure.
Cardi DeMonaco Jr