The Detroit City Council today made its appeal for the state of Michigan not to take away local democracy. The plea is widely seen as futile, with the name of the leading contender for an emergency manager to run Detroit already an open secret.
The local press has been weighing the risks for Governor Rick Snyder in assuming control of Detroit, including the lousy track record for emergency management statewide as a means of fixing a broken city. Snyder also faces resentment from the rest of the state as he pour money into the Detroit that so much of Michigan has turned a cold shoulder on.
Under the new emergency manager, Snyder will have until sometime in the fall of 2014 to convince the Detroit City Council that his plan is working so they don’t vote the manager out. That happens to be the same time that Snyder – or someone from his Republican Party – will be running for governor.
It’s time for our state to start investing in the rebuilding of our failing cities and engage in some serious urban renewal. The consent agreement with Detroit was supposed to provide a framework for doing that without stripping away democracy in order to make it happen. It’s unfortunate that Republicans can only see fit to start investing in Detroit when they can control every aspect of how it plays out under the auspices of a state-appointed dictator.
When Republicans have something on the line, they’ll pay to save Detroit. See also: Cash-strapped cities seized by new management.