By Charles Sercombe
For those who have been keeping tabs, City Councilmember Titus Walters has missed a lot of meetings in recent months.
Since the beginning of his term in January 2014, he has missed seven meetings, most of them occurring in the last couple of months.
Rumors heated up in the last week or so that Walters might step down due to ongoing health issues.
Not so, Walters told The Review this week.
“I’m not resigning,” Walters said. “I feel good, and I’m getting stronger every day.”
Walters declined to comment on his health issue, but those who know him say it has to do with his heart.
What is at stake is wheter his absences have been excused. According to the City Charter, a councilmember who has five unexcused absences in a row, or has accumulated 10 unexcused absences within one year, can no longer serve on council.
City Clerk August Gitschlag said to his knowledge his absences were excused.
Councilmember Robert Zwolak said the council agreed to excuse all of Walters’ absences starting from when he was in the hospital a few months ago. Zwolak said the number of missed meetings hasn’t been an issue because the city has been under the control of an emergency manager for over a year.
However, Zwolak said, with the EM leaving in mid-December, Walters’ attendance will be “critical” once the new year starts.
“I expect him to hang in there and be positive,” Zwolak said.
In recent years the only other time the attendance of a councilmember received attention was when former Councilmember Abdul Algazali missed a number of meetings, which also had to do with a health problem.
But in his case, Algazali never told the council he was going to miss meetings, and when he did ask for the meetings he missed to be excused the council refused.
No action was taken against Algzali, though.
Walters is also president of the Hamtramck Public School Board, but he chose not to seek re-election. His term on the board ends Dec. 31.