Clawson mayor who quit back after council agrees to reinstate her

Detroit News staff and wire
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Clawson — Welcome back, mayor.

The Clawson City Council said Reese Scripture can be mayor again in the Detroit suburb, about a month after she resigned.

Reese Scripture

After some buyer's remorse and encouragement from Clawson residents, Scripture said she wanted her part-time job back. The council agreed Tuesday, noting a legal opinion that it had never formally accepted her resignation.

Earlier:Clawson seeks clarity on ex-mayor's bid to rescind resignation

When Scripture quit in May, she had cited frustration with the city's budget process and a possible conflict with her federal government job.

“I ran on ethical, competent leadership and restoring fiscal responsibility,” Scripture told The Detroit News. “My concern about the budget process was exactly why I ran. It’s still a problem.”

At the start of a virtual council meeting May 4, she read a lengthy letter announcing her intention to quit, citing issues related to plans to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Scripture told her colleagues there was hardly time to properly review a proposed budget, she had not received one and the administration offered scant details on Clawson’s financial status.

“This administration has been asked time and time again to set meetings so council can assess priorities, capital needs, and to establish goals,” she said at the time. “The pandemic caused the biggest upheaval any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes — everything changed for every person and every institution. But as elected leaders of this community, we have not had one single discussion on what all of this means and how we might leverage the opportunities in front of us for the benefit of Clawson and Clawson’s future. And according to this agenda…we never will.”

Scripture exited the Zoom call after turning the meeting over to Mayor Pro Tem Paula Millan. Her resignation letter was sent to the city manager and council members.

Millan soon was sworn in to serve as mayor by the next gathering, which also created a vacancy. However, the council never voted on accepting Scripture’s resignation.

Her thoughts on keeping the job shifted in the weeks after quitting as many residents reached out online or elsewhere to voice their support. “I just had a feeling of letting people down,” she said.

Scripture, who works full-time for the Internal Revenue Service, had also spotted conflicts of interest as the budget analysis lingered but identified potential solutions if she reclaimed the mayoral role. Faltering talks on the city's finances also factored in.

“My first priority is to start putting things in place that will allow us to get good, well-intentioned, well- thought-out financial management,” Scripture said.

Some council members said they immediately missed her acumen.

“She’s probably the smartest person you’ll ever meet on budgets,” council member Louis Samson said last week. “When she looks at a budget or pension plan, she knows far more than you or I would because she does it every day. ... She’s a champion of Clawson.”

Detroit News Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.

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