The consent decree offered by Andy Dillon, state treasurer, and supported by Governor Rick Snyder is an extreme and poor method of governing. The governor and Dillon have announced this decree ahead of their own financial review board. They have circumvented their own process and in doing so have portrayed Mayor Bing as a victim. Mayor Bing was the subject of a recall in 2010. He has since gone from bad to worse earning more criticism from his corporate supporters. Now this decree would eliminate the mayor’s authority and thus remove him from governing without forcing his resignation. Thus getting a new mayor without an election.
Mayor Bing was able to take the proposal from Dillon and Snyder and act betrayed, hurt and pretend to associate himself with the common Detroiter. Us Detroiters who have lived our lives in a city Bing referred to as a hell hole while our mayor. This mayor has only made it harder to deliver city services. Additionally he openly campaigned to neglect parts of the city to focus on preferred areas, areas that have never been made public. Bing has privately implemented this policy delivering greater services to some areas and while not stating these actions he avoids the citizens even knowing that we are being cheated. All of the city residents pay city taxes but some are getting more for their money.
It seems like more time has passed since the mayors 2012 state of the city speech. An address where Bing prepared for protests. An address not publicized where even the city council staff did not have all of the event details. Bing held the speech in a government office where it is difficult for city residents to connect with their city leader. The mayor now has constant criticism of always planning and never implementing. Mayor Bing’s image has never been that of a visionary and now he cannot be said to even be a manager.
Bing stated ( in his city speech ) he planned to reduce, eliminate or privatize the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), The Detroit Public Lighting Department (DPL), along with other city departments and services, including privatization of Belle Isle. The mayor pledged to reduce city services by reducing the overall city workforce. He stated he would hire more private companies as he has done to manage DDOT. These companies now control new buses paid for with our tax dollars. Bing has not promised better services nor has he said that this decision would provide for lower costs. Each time Bing wins a change in an union contract, he proclaims new deficits or new pending financial problems. Even though the state , through our treasurer Andy Dillon, has withheld 2011 revenue sharing and will not provide funds due from previous years. Further Bing continues to create new multi-million dollar contracts to companies such as DTE Energy. Bing made these promises before the consent decree and when Snyder tried to lease Belle Isle, Bing feigned surprise, hurt and anguish. But it was part of Bing’s plan all along.
The daily media, print, radio and tv, never ask Bing why. Why did he hire someone else to run DDOT? Bing solely controls the department and makes all of the decisions. Bing appoints the managers who used to run DDOT. If Bing made poor choices in his appointees, its not a reason to create a contract that will cost more money that what is currently budgeted. These type of actions lead to deficits. The mayor is not being challenged for his poor management. The media alternately claimed Bing a hero for privatizing DDOT.
Both the Free Press and the Detroit News endorsed Bing for mayor. They both support the proposed consent decree. They both have a right wing agenda. They both have a right wing editorial department. They are part of a joint operating agreement that allows them to share money in the production of two newspapers. The only criticism they have offered of Bing is that he is not moving fast enough to implement more right wing policies.
Bing’s politics and policies are right wing yet he is a mayor of a city claiming to be a city of strong democrats. A union town. Why haven’t any of the political leaders criticized Bing and his politics? Why have the elected democrats not stood up to Bing as he threatens traditional democratic values? Are there other democrats in this town and this state who are democrats in name only?
Perhaps there are those who thought Bing would only get better as to why the recall was not supported by those who are hurting the most. Those persons who do not work for the mayor and worked against the recall are complaining about city government but still stop short on complaining about Bing. Its this double standard that fuels Bing’s drive to do more damage. The blame has been improperly placed solely on the desk of the city council. This year the new charter takes effect and transfers more power from council to the mayor. When will the mayor have enough power to deliver services other mayors have successfully delivered with much less power, costs and complaints?