Detroit Needs Lansing: Oh! Oh!
The Mayor of Detroit needs help from Lansing to keep his city
from going in the dumper.
That puts current Gov. Rick Snyder right where all of his
predecessors have been over the last forty years.
Helping Detroit is not a new legislative theme but this latest
overture seems to have more urgency. Mayor Dave Bing claims his cash
flow problem will only get worse but the problem could be solved if the
state coughs up $220 million in back revenue sharing payments.
The immediate response from the governor was no response.
That was on purpose because the fate of that $220 mil is, at
this read, highly unlikely and there was no purpose in the governor
declaring that in his news release. Everybody knows it.
Anybody who has been in this town for more than five minutes
knows that the days of bailing Detroit out are long gone. Years ago
then Gov. Milliken forged a deal with then Mayor Coleman Young. The
Detroit Equity package funneled state dollars into a variety of city
services that were shared by folks all around the state.
After Mr. Milliken left office, Republicans systematically
dismantled the program to zero. And now Republicans control both the
house and senate and if the vote on that $220 million was held today,
it would go up in flames.
Lawmakers are likely to tell the mayor, if he bothers to show
up around here with his hand out, that the city must do some self-help
before it has even a hope of state help. The governor did not want to
say that either.
The ace the mayor has is this: If the state stiffs the city
and the city goes under, Mr. Bing can blame the governor and Lansing.
And you can bet the fingers up here will be pointing at the Mayor for
failing to do his job.
Nobody wants Detroit in the tank. The question is who will
step up to make sure that does not happen?