I never thought I’d say this but poor Mayor Dave Bing. Forgive the poorly drawn artwork, but when one is forced to make decisions they don’t agree with that’s a loss of power. The more I follow Detroit’s controversial consent agreement, I realize what a tough place city officials, especially Mayor Dave Bing, are in. With so few solutions on the table and a crisis on hand, they’ve been cornered into making decisions they themselves don’t fully support.
I was there at Bing’s victory party on election night three years ago when black and red balloons swirled through the air and hopes were high for the newly elected mayor. Bing undoubtedly knew that night the he had his work cut out for him and that the years ahead would be rocky. And that he might have to concede powers to the state. Now, here he is, after three years of battling with unions and privatizing city services to and stave off an oncoming financial storm, the bricks are still falling… fast. I’m afraid to say motor city mayor is stuck between a rock and a hard place with regards to the state takeover and the financial crisis the city faces. In a way, he’s already condeded much of his decision making freedom due to this political bind.
I understand how he could be privately be against the agreement that would but a nine-member board in charge of the city’s money (or lack thereof), and yet publically support the same agrement. Having an up-close and personal view the budget pitfall the city faces, he is forced to take a meager compromise. What’s worse: the messy end of the stick which is what consent agreement offers? OR being ousted by one emergency financial manager (EFM) OR filing for bankruptcy? Of the three bad deals, the consent agreement is the better, according to Bing.
So Mr. Dave Bing for navigating this tough situation. I don’t support anyone coming in and taking over—EFMs, and advisory board members alike—but I also am pragmatic and know something has to give. But what? Federal help has been suggested, but it would take more than a few months s to secure such federal resources (if at all).
Sure, if I had the answers I’d be mayor… or better, a high paid state apointed financial advisor. Obviously, I don’t. I know one thing though: I wouldn’t want to trade places with Dave Bing. But I would like to hear thoughtful solutions that could help save Detroit from being taken advantge of during this vulnerable time.