Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Many Potential Mayors

The Detroit Free Press ran an article in Sunday's edition about the seven different individuals who may compete for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's job next year. I'm probably biased in this, but my favorite part of the article was:

The possibility that so many major figures will run is exciting, but emphasis on personalities cannot be allowed to overwhelm the major issues facing the city, said Frank Nemecek, president of the Warrendale Community Organization on the city's west side.

"Hopefully, there will be a very candid discussion about police response time and core city services," he said.

Yes, my publicist earned his paycheck that day.

Or at least he would've if I was paying my publicist.

Or if I had a publicist to begin with.

But I digress.

Anyway, the next paragraph has me thinking that former police chief Benny Napoleon might be a very good candidate for mayor.

Napoleon, who ran against Kilpatrick in 2005 but didn't make it out of the primary, said Nemecek's concerns, particularly those about public safety, are foremost on his agenda. Napoleon said he has spent time listening to residents, community activists and business leaders who want concrete solutions to the city's crime issues.

"Making Detroit a safe city needs to be the No. 1 priority of the mayor," said Napoleon, an assistant Wayne County executive.

I talked with Mr. Napoleon on several occasions back when he was Detroit's police chief and I was vice president of the Warrendale Community Organization. I was always impressed with his candor, intelligence and professionalism.

I'm certainly not making an endorsement this early into the campaign. However, I think that Benny Napoleon is a candidate to watch very closely in the coming weeks and months.

In related news, when we as a community get closer to selecting our next mayor and city council, you can expect to see the Warrendale Community Organization and some of the other groups sponsoring a debate amongst the various candidates.

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