Politics & Prejudices
Want to stop the emergency manager?
Step up with the ideas to make things happen — or get out of the way
Published: January 25, 2012
That would be perfectly legal. Cities and counties are the creatures of the state, which can create and dissolve them.
Nobody would like this, at first. Nobody likes change. Naturally, politicians everywhere will fight losing their jobs.
Many Detroiters will oppose being ruled once again by a white majority electorate. Many Wayne County white voters will hate having to be more responsible, economically and otherwise, for helping save a troubled and poor urban area.
But everybody's futures are at stake here.
The fact of the matter is that we are all Detroit.
Bloomfield Hills is Detroit, and so is Highland Park, Huntington Woods, Harper Woods, Warren, all of it; all of us.
Ideally, the three-county area ought to bear a great deal of responsibility for everything within it, and ways should be found to make that happen — the regional rapid bus idea is a good start.
But merging Detroit and Wayne County is essential if Detroit is to have a future. We are in this together. Most of us disagree with at least some of Gov. Snyder's positions — I certainly do.
But he has shown himself to be pragmatic, to be willing to try to figure out solutions, and to have political courage.
The rest of us need to try to work with him. For if we do nothing except run around blindly protesting the emergency manager idea, things will end up even worse than they are now, and soon.
Footnote: Yes, I am aware there are efforts to get something on the ballot this November to repeal the current Emergency Manager statute, and that if enough signatures are ever submitted, the law will be suspended till the vote is taken.
But this means very little. Odds are that if that happens, the Legislature will immediately pass another similar emergency manager law, and if not, the old emergency financial manager law would go back into effect. And even if that weren't the case ...
What do you think would happen when Detroit defaults on its debts and can't pay its bills? Nobody knows, but the state would probably be forced to take the city over in some form, anyway.
For many, many years, everybody did stop thinking about tomorrow. Now, we can't do that anymore. The choices for Detroit are drastic, painful and humiliating measures with the eventual prospect of a better future. Or what amounts to total collapse.
Think about it.
> Email Jack Lessenberry