Friday, December 26, 2008

Can Cockrel Survive?

The Detroit Free Press ran a piece on their front page this morning in which they asked the question: Can Cockrel Survive to Stay Detroit Mayor? The answer to that question, in my personal opinion, boils down to the answer to one other question: is Ken Cockrel willing to start doing what Detroiters have asked of him?

Before I elaborate any further, I have to remind everyone of the disclaimer that appears at the top of this blog. The opinions that I express here are mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect those of the Warrendale Community Organization or any other organization that I am a part of.

With that duly said, I would like to call everyone's attention to one particular quote from our interim mayor in this morning's paper.
"When I'm out and about, there are a couple of issues that keep coming up. One is crime. ... Second is jobs," he said.
There can be no doubt that crime and jobs are the top priorities of Detroiters. There's no need for me to elaborate as to why those are our top priorities; we as Detroiters see, hear and live those reasons every day of our lives.

It is curious, though, that Mr. Cockrel admits knowing that these are Detroiters' top priorities, but has done almost nothing to meet those demands. One would think that a politician who is up for re-election and who wants to remain at his post would make a concerted effort to meet those needs for his constituents.

Unfortunately, he has made almost no progress on those fronts. He opened four new police mini-stations, which is nice. The problem with a mini-station is that they're only open for a few hours every day and the officers assigned to them don't respond to any calls. That's important in a city like Detroit were several hundred calls to 9-1-1 go unanswered every day.

The Warrendale Community Organization called on the Mayor and City Council earlier this year to hire more police officers in order to reduce the number of emergency calls that are going unanswered currently. Several other community groups around the city have echoed that call for better police service. Mr. Cockrel ignored those pleas when he was President of the City Council. He continues to ignore them today.

The question that Mr. Cockrel is going to have answer for himself is: does he want to stay Mayor badly enough that he's willing to start listening to his constituents?

If he is able to start delivering, he has a chance of remaining in his post beyond May.

If he isn't willing to do that then, in my opinion, he's wasting our time running for office.

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