VIA: Detroit News

Detroit — City Council President Charles Pugh and the Rev. Marvin L. Winans Sr. sparred today over an effort to water down a controversial strip club crackdown, ending with Pugh calling out the popular pastor for living in the suburbs.

Winans, the pastor of Perfecting Church, sounded off during a council session today on members’ decision last week to drop several tough proposals, including an alcohol ban and requirements that dancers wear opaque pasties and remain at least six feet from customers. Winans said he was disappointed with some unnamed council members who took office in January, accusing them of misleading residents about their position during the fall campaign.

“Detroit deserves better, and Detroit will get better,” said Winans, a gospel music star and actor. “I assure you we have only begun to fight.”

Pugh challenged Winans to join him to work with the city’s 33 clubs to better patrol crime outside of them, but Winans said he’d only help if Pugh returns the alcohol ban and pastie rule. He followed by saying that the strip club owners don’t live in the city and their children don’t have to walk by the businesses.

Soon after, as Winans was returning to his seat, Pugh asked the pastor if he lived in the city. Winans, who lives in Bloomfield Township, bristled at the question, saying he grew up in the city and that his church is in the city.

“I am a part of the city,” Winans said. “You can’t play that game.”

After the meeting, Pugh told reporters that he respects Winans’ stance, but said he would hope the pastor and other opponents would work with him to better control crime outside the clubs rather than legislate activities inside them.

“The reality is these businesses have the right to exist,” Pugh said.

The council is pursuing a ban on VIP rooms, a requirement that most employees be licensed and a requirement that dancers perform only on an 18-inch tall stage, which essentially bans lap dancing. Today the changes were introduced. A public hearing is scheduled at 3 p.m. Feb. 22.