Tuesday, December 29, 2009
There is hope, but much work to be done !
Luckily, Detroit is changing. I honestly believe that the "new leadership" that is emerging, led by Mayor Dave Bing and DPS emergency financial manager Robert Bobb,and City Councilmember Gary Brown have an opportunity to change the direction of the once great city. But first this new leadership must challenge some of the established powerbrokers in the city like the entrenched Democrat party and the powerful unions, primarily the UAW, the MEA and AFSCME.
Unfortunately, the only way for leaders to make the changes necessary is to make some very tough choices. This will require sacrifice by the remaining taxpayers living in Detroit. One way that I've heard suggested to reduce the spending to match the reduced revenue, is to dramatically "shrink" the area that requires city services.This could be done by demolishing abandoned buildings and clearing vacant property within the city to create a "green-belt" running through the city with a bike path and connected urban parks.I heard several intriguing ideas like this recently when I participated in a forum hosted by an organization called "The Center for Michigan" and co-sponsored locally by the Macomb Daily and Macomb Community College. The objective was to brainstorm and come up with a new vision for the state and a "new public agenda".
One theme that also came up repeatedly was to reduce the influence and control that the unions have in the state, so that Michigan's businesses are able to compete nationally and globally. Everyone agrees that in order for our economy to recover, we need to attract businesses and jobs to the state. But with the unions supporting Democrats, and Democrats supporting unions, we are caught in a "death spiral".
We need to completely change our attitudes about how we attract businesses and bring those much needed jobs and the tax revenue they will provide, to Michigan. Taxpayers have made a start in Detroit by running the criminal former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick out of town, but they need to follow the lead of reformers like Robert Bobb to finish the job of eliminating the rampant waste, abuse and corruption that has ruined Detroit and that is threatening all of S.E. Michigan.