Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What Were They Thinking?
Somebody pass the barf bag! For decades regional cooperation on anything in Southeast, Michigan has been only a dream that quickly turned into a nightmare anytime anyone was foolish enough to try for it. But then wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles, it finally came true with a deal to expand Cobo Hall and supposedly keep the North American Auto Show in Motown. All of the warring factions in Lansing, Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties came together only to be stymied by you know who. Enter the Detroit City Council with a stunning 5-3 vote to kill the proposal, to kill regional cooperation and to breath more life into the anti-Detroit sentiment that already exists. Critics wonder what were they thinking? Or were they? Unsuccessful Mayoral Candidate Freeman Hendrix, in an 11th hour pandering attempt to squeeze more votes for his ailing campaign, got the anti-Cobo ball rolling last week when he suggested Detroit was giving up too much, and he found five members on the council who agreed. The essence of a good compromise is that nobody gets everything they want and in the end, you give a little to get a little. It's a time-honored tradition in politics, but apparently Mr. Hendrix and his friends on the council slept through that class. Some council folks hope Obama's federal stimulus money can be used. The governor says nope. Maybe everyone will come back to the legislature to try again. Legislative leaders seem open to that.
Maybe tremendous business and political pressure will descend on the gang of five and they will flip their votes. Or maybe everyone who signed off on the Cobo deal will eventually see the wisdom of the council's actions? Right, and you know what will freeze over, too.