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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mayor Fouts slammed for relying on foreign workers to mow grass

Posted By on Thu, May 30, 2019 at 11:07 AM

click to enlarge Warren Mayor Jim Fouts. - CITY OF WARREN
  • City of Warren
  • Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

The grass is getting high in Warren because the people hired to mow it are having “border difficulties.”

That’s according to Mayor Jim Fouts, who defended his use of foreign workers in a city with a high unemployment rate.

“The company with the lowest bid for this job has a problem getting their workers into Michigan because of border difficulties,” Fouts posted on Facebook.

Warren residents responded in droves, saying the mayor should focus on hiring local people.

“Just a question but why aren’t the workers from Michigan,” Megan Anderson asked Fouts on Facebook.

Fouts responded, saying Michigan residents “are not available."

“Very difficult to get workers also we award contracts based upon low bid and we can’t tell them where to get their workers quickly,” Fouts insisted.

Anderson responded, “Low bid or not I still think they should be Michigan residents.”

Fouts did not return a call from Metro Times for a comment.

click to enlarge Kristina Lodovisi
  • Kristina Lodovisi
One of Fouts’ opponents in the mayoral race, Kristina Lodovisi, criticized the mayor for relying on foreign workers.

“This mayor has once again failed the residents of Warren by allowing a lucrative city contract to go to a vendor that hires foreign workers when there are plenty of able-bodied residents in this city looking for work,” Lodovisi said. “When I’m Mayor it will be my policy to not hire vendors that have a history of hiring foreign workers over available American labor. We need to reward those who hire our residents and do business honestly rather than those who are helping to undercut the wages and benefits of American workers.”

Lodovisi, who has been endorsed by the Warren Democratic Club last week, pointed out that Warren’s unemployment rate — 6 percent — is higher than the national average. The average income of a Warren resident is $21,762, compared to $30,099 nationwide, according to the U.S. Census estimates in 2016.

Fouts has faced heavy criticism over the past three years over racist and sexist audio recordings and big pay increases for his young executive assistant, who was caught on video holding hands with the mayor, who is now 76 years old. Amanda Mika is 32, a 44-year difference.

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