The much anticipated Detroit mayoral special election is upon Detroiters. Tuesday, Detroiters will turn out in low record numbers to cast a vote for the candidate that will fill the remainder of ousted former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s time in office. The special election, which hardly makes sense to the intelligent by-stander, is tauted as a prelude to the “real” mayoral election to be held in November. It is supposed that the winner of this event will be a shoe-in for the permanent office of mayor.
Former Detroit City Council President Ken Cockrel, Jr. currently is Detroit’s “temporary” mayor, with hopes of making the seat even more “temporary” as the winner of this contest. I know, none of this makes any sense, does it?
Businessman and NBA great Dave Bing is the second candidate that is on the Detroit ballot for mayor. Hometown hero and Detroit Piston legend, Dave Bing reinvented himself into an entrepreneur and businessman by founding the Bing Group, a steel manufacturing operation and auto supplier. The Bing Group is widely seen as a success story and Bing has employed hundreds of Detroiters and contributed to numerous community organizations. Bing is very active in the city and much beloved.
A native Detroiter like fellow candidate Ken Cockrel, Jr., Dave Bing has a rich history rooted in Detroit. However, critics including Cockrel point to the fact that Bing has little if any political experience.
However, if one ws to take a close look at the city of Detroit, the disaster is not only in political arena but in the finances. The city of Detroit is $300 million in debt. The Detroit Public School system is in the crapper, too. DPS is $300 million in the red, too! It is rumored that a full blown criminal investigation is currently underway.
Unemployment in Detroit is 22.2%, the highest rate in America. Even though crime stats show that violent deaths have dropped, more than 300 Detroiters die a year due to violence. So, which of the two mayoral candidates is more qualified to fill the role of mayor? Detroit is bleeding money. Lots of it. In order to fix the majority of what is wrong in the city, a financial strategy needs to be considered. A financial plan that will generate much need funds to expand the policing services of the Detroit Police Department, get the city out of debt and save Detroit Public Schools.
In the business world, a sinking company looks for leadership that will propel a business out of certain financial ruin and turn it into a viable, sustainable business. This is what the city of Detroit needs. Instead of amateur and career politicians who are really bottom feeders on the hunt for a paycheck and expensive travel agendas to so-called “conferences,” perhaps the city of Detroit need a leader with a portfolio that show and prove.
Detroit has had a hard rode to travel for years now. Kwame Kilpatrick promised “change” and brought political unrest and embarrassment to the city. Maybe its time for something drastically different. When Dennis Archer became mayor, he brought a sense of balance and financial feasibility to Detroit. Dave Bing brings that same approach.
Unfortunately, apathy runs deep in Detroit. City Clerk Janice Winfrey said that out of the 621,000 registered voters in Detroit, come Tuesday, only 15% – 20% will come to the polls. With this type of turnout, Detroiters can be rest assured that the city of Detroit will continue to be ran into the ground by career politicians with agendas that do not include helping the disenfranchised, the elderly or the children of Detroit.