Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prepare For The Fall of Detroit - Mayor Bing Has Failed Us

As a life-long resident of Detroit, I tuned into Mayor Bing's televised address to the city yesterday. We now officially know what many of us have suspected for years - the city of Detroit is on the brink of financial ruin; the results of a financial study conducted by a respected consulting firm confirmed that Detroit will indeed run out of cash by spring of 2012.

Drastic measures will need to be undertaken in a very short window of opportunity to prevent what many feel is inevitable - the appointment of an Emergency Financial Manager (EFM). Once appointed, the EFM will have the authority to make sweeping changes: layoff employees, invalidate contracts, sell off city owned assets, and more. Mayor Bing stated for the record that wished to avoid the appointment of an EFM to fix our city's finances. His proposed plan, or shall I say wishful thinking, says otherwise.

Mayor Bing in his address last night failed to deliver a credible plan to fix Detroit - once and for all. The short-term fixes he asked for fall far short of what we need - a thorough house cleaning and fumigation of the cesspool we call city government. For far too long we, as residents, have watched our local representatives use their positions for personal gain to the detriment of the residents.

Bing's plan - revealed last night - called for significant concessions from the labor unions, a 10 percent pay cut for all city employees, and a 1 percent tax hike for corporations who do business here, increases in benefits contributions from employees, and less benefits to be paid to retirees.

If he manages to do all of the aforementioned, the city reportedly would break even. Bing's plan fails to address what we do next. In my humble opinion, he lacks political courage to undertake bold moves to solve our long-term issue of financial solvency. I am not alone in my assessment of Bing's plan. Many feel that much more needs to be done. I have read that at least one City Councilman suggested that as many as 2,300 city employees should be laid off immediately. Yes, our city finances are that bad.

Bing also pledged not "to gutt police and fire" and not to give criminals free reign to do whatever they wish to do in Detroit. For one, I don't know how a city can shed over 2,000 workers and not further compromise public safety by not trimming those areas of the budget that account for a reported 60 percent of the payroll. It doesn't seem possible.

Next, Bing is probably unaware of how bad crime is in Detroit these days. Yes, it is true that other than homicides our violent crime is down 10 percent relative to last year. That fact does not mean in any shape or form that crime in under control.

On average, the following violent crimes occur within the city limits of our city: 1 murder, 3 rapes, 53 burglaries, and 97 assaults. Crime at this level is unacceptable - regardless of how much it has dropped since the prior year.

Despite the promises, there will be significant cuts in the Detroit Police Department. As such, among the many things that residents must concede is that it will be incumbent on the residents of our city to accept more responsibility for their safety. For some that will mean moving out to a safer city and for others it will translate into exploring personal protection options other than dialing 9-1-1.

In conclusion, I have zero confidence in Mayor Bing's leadership to get us past this financial crisis. His announced plan is a long-shot short-term solution. I predict that sooner or later the state of Michigan will assign an EFM to straighten out our city's finances.

The cynic in me thinks that Governor Snyder will merely replace Bing's inefficient cronies with cronies of his own. The difference is that Snyder's guys will actually make the tough decisions that our failed elected leadership lacks the political courage to do the job we trusted them to do.

In the interim, the city of Detroit will become an even more dangerous place to live, to work, and to visit. We are officially on the brink of disaster.

What are you going to do to protect yourself during these perilous times?

About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, NRAnews, Gun Digest, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, WJLB, WGPR and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about Detroit Michigan CPL Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Contact: Rick Ector
Phone: 313.733.7404

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