The crisis that the city of Detroit faces is not an insurmountable one. Okay. I’ve said that. The next logical phase in this steady progression of bad government and worsening politics is not hard to decipher. It is just a matter of what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, in the world of twisted politics, what is viewed right is perceived to be wrong and what is wrong is applauded as ingenious politicking. Such as that quick stop “across the street” to Canada that Mayor Kilpatrick made days ago.
A lot of folks at this point are calling for the mayor’s resignation. Again. But this time around, those on the resignation bandwagon aren’t the card carrying ones from earlier this year. These new voices come from business and religious leaders. One religious leader in particular, the mayor’s former pastor, has publicly called for the mayor to step down. However, as this runaway train heads for a crash-landing, and believe me it will, is the calling for Kwame Kilpatrick’s resignation the key to healing a city that has been in crisis since the last breath of the Coleman Young years?
The resounding answer is shockingly: NO! Kwame Kiplatrick’s voluntary removal from mayoral duties can not even begin to fix what is deeply wrong with Detroit city government. Kilpatrick’s departure will only be a tiny band-aid on a gapping shot gun wound to the back. A band aid won’t stop the massive bleeding and the internal damage. Kwame Kilpatrick has been in office for almost seven years. The city, no matter what his administration offers in way of data, under Kilpatrick, has not benefited in the areas where it truly counts.
Neighborhoods, despite new development, are still languishing on the verge of existence and invisibility. Schools, schools that have a rich history in Detroit, are being closed down. Crime and violence has overtaken the city and no one seems to have a workable plan to combat it. The city streets are dirty and filthy with piles of garbage collecting in various corners due to the lack luster bulk pick up program. Most importantly, Detroit’s vulnerable citizens, seniors citizens, voices are being ignored and at times preyed upon. Major grocery stores have left the area and with it variety and comparison-shopping. Malls are steadily closing down. Transportation services are fraught with shortages, basically unsafe and unreliable.
How will the resignation of Kwame Kilpatrick save Detroit?
It won’t. It’ll feel really good, but won’t help Detroit’s situation. Kilpatrick knows this as well. He also knows that he isn’t the only one responsible for the chaos in Detroit. More than likely Mayor Kilpatrick feels that if he has to step down, a whole gang of folks should be packing up right alongside of him. Kilpatrick is absolutely correct. If Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick steps, everyone associated directly or indirectly has gotta go.
For instance, like Chief of Police Ella Bullings Cummings. Pack it up. Text messages show that she and a couple of others in the police department knew of the plan by former chief of staff and lover of Mayor Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty, to unjustly fire three Detroit Police officers simply because they did what the taxpayers of Detroit pays them to do. Folks have been charged, arrested and jailed falsely. Knowingly. Why? The Mayor wants to wrap up a case in the public eye immediately and Chief Cummings bows to the pressure and arrests innocent people, trashes their names in the media and then releases them silently through the back door of Police Headquarters.
Fire or ask for the resignation of every top head of ALL city departments. I mean one and all. Get rid of them. Both of my grandmothers have complained about being double-billed for city taxes. When they have rushed down to pay these taxes and questioned as to why their homes are being threatened with city and county foreclosure because of non-payment of taxes, when this is obviuosly not the case, the city officials told them both that this is a new taxing method that the city has. It was slipped under Detroit tax payers noses to get more fees. Huh? Fire them.
City Council? Get rid of them, too! Martha Reeves knows nothing from nothing about Detroit government and could really care less. It was because of name recognition and nostalgia for those “dancing in the street” Motown days that got her elected. Detroiters need to stop this nasty habit, too. That is how Alonzo Bates, Barbara Rose Collins and Monica Conyers were elected to the Council. Name recognition. Not job performance or potential. Send ‘em packing, too! Clear out all cronies aka friends and family that only want to collect a check and perks, too! These are a gigantic part of the equation as well. For more analysis, take a survey of people working in the Kilpatrick administration that are connected to or a direct descendant of a cronie. You will be greatly surprised at what you find.
When you have cleaned Detroit city government thoroughly, with bleach and Pine-Sol, you will be amazed at the lovely smell and atmosphere that will permeate through-out. A new, clear and sanitized atmosphere that will allow for some real healing and work to be done. The last time Detroit city government had a deep cleansing of this kind was back in the early seventies when the legendary Mayor Coleman Young swept through Detroit governmental offices like a hurricane. Okay. Like a handsome African American “Mr Clean.”
It has been almost thirty-six years since Detroit had a good cleansing. Don’t you think that it is waaay past due for another one?