Detroit With Vultures

It appears to be a done deal – Gov. Snyder has appointed an Emergency Manager for Detroit. For anyone who loves Detroit it is a sad day, and I fear will it turn out to be a matter of destroying the city to save it.

First and foremost, Detroit has to take responsibility for this to happen in the first place. The political machine in Detroit since Mayor Kilpatrick (who inherited a Detroit with a budget surplus)have been corrupted into an ethos of self-service and self-destruction, with political leaders for the most part interested in serving their own needs rather than the needs of the City. There has not been a leader with a healthy vision for Detroit in nearly a generation. Detroit floundered economically because of the lack of responsible political leaders on both the local and state level.  

As Detroit reeled from the corruption of Kwame to the dysfunctional dictatorship of the City Council, the carrion in Lansing watched and waited. The silent takeover of DeVos and Koch in Lansing was unmasked with the betrayal of Michigan by Synder when he snuck through the Right to (not) Work legislation at the direction of his lord and master, DeVos. It was only a matter of time before carrion descended onto Detroit to destroy the unions and pick apart city assets.

They didn’t have to wait long for City Council to manifest yet another instance of self-destructive dysfunction (namely, the Bell Isle fiasco) as the pretext to justify nullifying elections and appointing an Emergency Manager. Our economic savior, Mr. Orr, arrived waiving the specter of bankruptcy and warnings to unions. He was also hotly followed by tax liens on his own properties, which should have suggested that the real agenda wasn’t fiscal responsibility.

Already, the plum of Detroit assets, the Water Department is being mentioned as a target for sale. Interestingly, the Governor has said that the State management of Belle Isle would be up to the City Council (that would cost the State money).

The real conflict for me is the fact that I can only hope that Detroit does emerge from the Emergency Manager stronger, because it was clear Detroit could not do it on its own. It feels a bit like welcoming death after a long, painful illness. 

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3 Responses to Detroit With Vultures

  1. Marc says:

    It’s sad that they had to get an emergency manager to save Detroit.

  2. Rex A Umney says:

    I also share your concern Mr. Fieger!

    I just read about Mr. Orr’s financial woes in the paper yesterday evening and I nearly choked on my burger and fell of my chair!

    In the 3.17.2013 edition of the Detroit Free Press (Page 10a) Mr. Orr is quoted as saying “It’s on me – it’s something that fell through the cracks”, I mean did I read that right? The man who has been appointed our financial manager let a 15K bill slip thru the cracks? WTF!? It would have been one thing if it had been a disputed matter but to just come right out and say he made an error and it was his fault really cast a shadow on his leadership abilities. I am more than confident that these revelations will only make negotiations seem like nothing more than pure hypocrisy. I mean c’mon! Who is going to be able to sit down with this man and be able to have a serious and meaningful negotiation without thinking “this guy is F.O.S”.

    Why in the hell we have a guy that lives in Maryland overseeing Detroit’s finances is beyond me! Sure he may have went to school in Michigan but that doesn’t amount to anything more than a hill of beans to Detroiters who live here and could only dream of attending U of M.

    I just don’t like it one bit and I am totally underwhelmed with Snyder for not vetting this person more carefully! Snyder makes his constituents who voted for him look like complete idiots and I hate to say it but I was one of them idiots! For that I apologize and Ill take it on the chin as a lesson learned the hard way! Republicans have lost my straight party line vote as I used to think maybe these people knew better than I when it came to the politicians on the ballot. To be honest, I don’t even know why I bother to vote anymore because every time it’s the same thing… I sit there in my little paper cubical and look at a long list of names having absolutely no idea who the hell I am voting for anyway! It’s rare I might see a judge or a local guy I know on the ballot but even then 99% of the time even if I don’t like the guy no one will be challenging him. So what gives? The bottom line is that voters need more information on the people they are to choose, otherwise how in the heck are things going to change for the better?

    I too disagree with the threat of bankruptcy as Mr. Orr has most arrogantly referred to this last measure as a “Tool”. Now that right there is wrong on every level! Could he have not just said “Look, if you back Detroit up into a corner we will have no choice but to go bankrupt”. It would not have come off as him trying to “game” Detroit’s creditors. In fact it reeks of the same sorts of corruption that Detroiters have long since come to despise and anyone that would say otherwise need only look to the Kwamie Kilpatrick trials. Still I must say that Detroiters got what they deserved with KK as I was pretty sure even back in the day when KK first ran for Mayor with his 2-3 carrot diamond stud in his ear that he wasn’t ready for Mayors chair and if anyone is to blame for his actions it would be the people of Detroit who failed to notice or just didn’t give a crap.

    I think the Bell Isle fiasco is just small potatoes not even worthy of mention at a time like this, but I guess when paired with all the other mis-steps of the city it serves as a compelling argument for mismanagement and another opportunity left to spoil. What I can say with certainty is that Mayor Bing did not look one bit happy in the front page photo in the paper standing with Mr. Orr and Mr. Snyder. I also can’t say I was too impressed with Mr. Snyder’s appearance during that announcement, open collar, no tie and looking otherwise clueless to what this means for Detroit. A very sad day indeed! Especially since there have been reports of China wanting to buy out a big stake in the Ren-Cen. It’s like we are selling our soul to just keep afloat! Maybe Mr. Fieger is right, if things don’t change for the better people are going to wish Dr. Kevorkian was still in business.

    In closing I would like to highlight some positive things about Detroit leadership such as our decision to reject bidding for the Olympics! Now that was a wise thing to do if only because statistics show whoever host these games usually amounts to an intergalactic kegger where the city gets left with the tab. Unlike Chicago that has MORE unfunded liabilities and an even worse debt problem they still felt compelled to try an undertake that challenge however the end result was millions and millions of tax dollars wasted sending Obama to Copenhagen only to have him laughed out of the building.

    I’ll admit I can be arrogant at times but even I know that the problems facing Detroit could easily crush, kill or at the very least corrupt any man who dare try and do something about it. May god give strength and wisdom to whoever may ultimately have to step up to this very big challenge. Seems the only people that are smiling are indeed the Vultures that flew in from out of town to pick Detroit to the bone!

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