POLITICS & PREJUDICES
Fixing Wayne County; Fixing Detroit
“We aren’t running the show anymore. We screwed up.” — Laura Cox, Wayne County commissioner
Published: August 21, 2013
What’s needed is to wipe the slate over, start clean — and merge Detroit and Wayne County into one supercity.
Do the research and think about it. Where this has been tried — Nashville, Miami and Indianapolis — the combined entity has almost always grown in size and thrived. Detroit, even after
bankruptcy presumably wipes the slate clean, cannot possibly be economically viable on its own. Wayne County government is so thoroughly corrupt it needs to be reinvented from scratch. And to exclude its central city doesn’t make any sense at all. The two, combined, have a lot in common with Detroit at its peak.
We would suddenly have a city of 1,792,000 people; 55 percent white; 40 percent black. Parts would be desperate, but parts quite wealthy and capable of building up the whole.
Mike Duggan, who will most likely be elected mayor of Detroit in November, is actually a longtime Livonia resident and former deputy county executive who knows the place. He would probably be the best choice to run it. No solution is perfect, but this one makes more sense than any other. Combining them will be politically difficult; starting over will be hard work; restoring Detroit would be expensive.
What, really, do we have to lose by trying?
Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
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