Reaction to Detroit's State of the City Speech

Friday, March 9, 2012

As a life-long Detroiter, I sat in the audience and listened to the 2012 State of the City speech given by Mayor Bing. The Mayor announced that both he and Gov. Rick Snyder agreed that an emergency manager was not a viable solution for Detroit. Perhaps the recent concessions made by union employees helped in that effort. If so, the various unions and their members should be congratulated. The people of Detroit keep their right to vote for their own local government and that is very welcome news.

There was much in the mayor’s speech that I could and will support. I stand ready as a state representative to push any legislation necessary to help our city out of this desperate financial crisis. His willingness to keep open recreation centers is good news for the young people of our city and helps keep them off the street.

Other things, such as the promise of getting our street lights fixed and maintaining public transportation, seemed to be worthy goals but were short of detail and actual delivery.

Detroit has found itself in the current desperate situation because of many different factors. Among the most obvious are its shrinking population, loss of good- paying jobs, poor management by previous administrations, waste and misallocation of funds, and an aging and crumbling city infrastructure.

As our population shrinks, so does the revenue stream for the city. As our infrastructure ages, our expenses to repair and replace soar higher. As jobs vanish, more people require assistance from government.

What is going to stop all this? What is going to turn this around? Where is the money going to come from to balance the books?

There were no firm answers to those important questions.

As your state representative I will do my part to help our city and get it back to prosperity. Although as a Michigan elected official I have no power over city issues and problems, we can do a great deal by passing laws to help the city. I currently am developing bills which I believe can help do so.

There is no magic bullet solution here. There is no quick fix. It took several decades to slide into this problem and it will take longer to climb out of it. But know that I stand ready to do my part to help the city that I love.