Monday, July 31, 2006

Detroiters' Efforts Pay Off

Detroiters' efforts pay off: Council approves tax relief

The Detroit City Council made it official on Friday. They approved a plan to cut property taxes in 25 of Detroit's neighborhoods.

Warrendale isn't one of the neighborhoods that will receive these benefits. Regardless, I'm excited about it - just not for any of the usual reasons that people have talked about in news reports.

The important thing, in my opinion, isn't that this will stem Detroit's declining population or anything like that. Quite frankly, I have serious doubts as to whether or not this will have a significant impact in Detroit's population trends.

I believe the most important aspect of this is that is proves that the efforts of a relatively small group of Detroiters can have a signifant impact on public policy. If people in neighborhoods like East English Village can convince the City to find away around an $8 million expenditure, folks in Warrendale should be able to convince Mayor Kilpatrick and the City Council to start taking public safety much more seriously.

We reached the point where it's a newsworthy event when there's only 1 or 2 drug deals happening in Warrendale at any given moment. In spite of that, the number of police officers who are assigned to the narcotics and gang units is embarrassingly small.

Illegal dumping is rampant and very little is done about it.

If folks in places like Rosedale Park or East English Village can convince the Mayor and City Council to give them an $8 million tax cut, we ought to be able to convince them to spend half that much on improving the City's response to drug dealers and dumpers.

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