Monday, March 19, 2007

My Thoughts on Mayor Kilpatrick's State of the City Address

It's been almost a week since Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick delivered his 2007 State of the City Address. I was there to see it live and I feel remiss for not commenting on his speech already.

I liked almost everything that he said that evening. I was proud that he made a point of recognizing the widow and son of the late Dearborn Mayor Michael A. Guido. I was also glad that he recognized the new superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools, Dr. Connie K. Calloway.

I was thrilled that he talked about the importance of Detroit's neighborhoods. Even though Warrendale wasn't specifically mentioned, the simple fact that he made a neighborhoods such a center piece in his remarks is a wonderful contrast with previous mayors.

The only thing that I didn't like in the Mayor's Address was when he announced that Detroit would only hire 200 new police officers. According to The Detroit News, half of that number is simply a replacement for older officers who have retired from the department. That leaves a net increase in the number of police officers at only 100 - or roughly 1 new police officer per square mile of the city.

This is definately a step in the right direction. However, in my opinion, I believe that Detroit needs a lot more. If I were Mayor, I would have cut the amount spent on upgrading the Northwest Activities Center ($14 million, according to the Mayor's address) and used it to hire even more police officers.

As for the rest of his address, I loved every word of it.
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