Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bing and the Detroit Strategic Framework Meeting

Resident Speaks During the Meeting
The first of the Detroit Strategic Framework Meetings was held yesterday evening. If you listened to any of the published news reports about it, this was glistening forum that was filled with ideas about how to solve every problem that Detroit currently faces.

Quite frankly, I think the reporters were at a different meeting. The vast majority of the questions and comments that I heard yesterday were the same complaints that Detroiters have had for decades.

The police don't show up when they're needed.

There aren't any retail stores in my neighborhood.

My taxes are outrageously high.

Many of these complaints were repeated yesterday because no one seemed to listen to them the first time they were made. I heard very few solutions proposed.

Mayor Dave Bing argues that most of Detroit's problems can be solved by condensing Detroit's neighborhoods into smaller, more densely populated ones. He told the audience that this was a new idea and that it was also a new concept for a mayor to solicit opinions from Detroiters. Both of these points convince me that Mayor Bing wasn't paying much attention to Detroit prior to announcing his candidacy.

The idea to condense Detroit into a smaller land mass has been around since the 1970s when the City first had to deal with the aftermath of "white flight" migration to the suburbs.

Every Mayor of Detroit, with the exception of Ken Cockerel during his stint as interim mayor, has held events like this. They were called something different, but the concept was the same.

Anyway, there will be several more of these meetings in the coming weeks. I will report from as many of them as I can.

In the meantime, I give you a video clip of Mayor Bing's remarks to the meeting.

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