Something's Gotta Give
that makes Motown, Motown. And when it comes to the schools, its even
The guy who originally poisoned the waters years ago was Gov. John
Engler. He probably had good intentions when he and his pals in the GOP
legislature abolished the citizen elected school board and installed a
"reform" board picked by the governor. It failed to reform much of
anything and the residue of ill-will toward the "Lansing takeover" is
still strong as ever.
The residents remember that and some have vowed, "Never again."
Now comes the current governor who has installed an Emergency
Financial Manager to run the DPS and she and others have given Robert
Bobb high marks. The district is still floating in red ink but there
is a sense, among some, that the movement is in the right direction.
But Mr. Bobb is likely to leave next March and then what?
This governor says give the Mayor of Detroit the power to appoint a
successor. Of course the newly installed "reform" City Council is not
about to rollover without some input of its own and it's getting quite
Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants the council to put this control
question on the ballot for the local voters to decide.
"They deserve that respect," she asserts with a warning.
If the citizens are denied the vote on this, she fears that
another GOP governor, with no roots in Detroit, might pick up where
John Engler left off.
Without saying it, what she is really asserting is: Detroit your
chances of meaningful reform are better with me that some GOP governor
who might have a different agenda.
Some agree with her, but not all. In fact some citizens threaten
to recall the council if it does the governor's bidding.
And the Black legislative caucus is divided. Some don't want a
public vote but want the legislature to iron this thing out. Still
others contend the local Detroit School Board can and should find a
In other words there is no consensus and lots of acrimony to go
Welcome to the rough and tumble world of Motown politics.