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And you people wonder why I think emergency managers are a necessary evil

by: Eric B.

Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 15:45:32 PM EST

What's happening in Detroit? Stupidity, that's what's happening.

The deal is off.

After wrangling with city council members for months over leasing Belle Isle to the state, Gov. Rick Snyder said the offer is off the table, his office told Motor City Muckraker.

The state had hoped to make the deal soon so the Department of Natural Resources could prepare its budget for Belle Isle. Now it’s too late, a frustrated Snyder said.

The city is broke, and it can't maintain a park most everyone agrees used to be its crown jewel. Now, because of parochial hard headedness, it'll continue to fall apart, which as we know will benefit Detroit tremendously.

And, yet, some of you people will still wonder why at the end of the day I'd have no problem for some responsible adult to step in and say, "Well, the democratic way didn't produce the result absolutely everyone knows had to be delivered, so we're going to have to get there a different way."

Eric B. :: And you people wonder why I think emergency managers are a necessary evil
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Much more complicated
The issue is much more complicated than can be done justice in a comment here. Let's just say, while I don't agree with killing the deal completely, as it was presented to the Council, I'd have been a No vote, too.  

Yep.  I'd have likely voted "no" on this particular deal, too.  I'm with Rochelle Riley's column on this from this morning.  We need solid, legally binding promises instead of the handshake agreements that the state never abides by, and after the Right-to-Work debacle (among many others), they have every right to be wary of anything that's not written down in a way that legally binds the state to upgrade the island.  As it is written, the deal is filled with "we plan to" to such and such and could leave the city paying for any possible bonds floated to pay for possible upgrades, even after the state's management deal is up.  There is nowhere near enough protections and promises for the city, in this current deal.

I think it's also kind of silly to tie this to the debate over an emergency manager, something I don't want to get into on here, again.  $6 million in the grand scheme of Detroit's budget woes is almost inconsequential, and this wasn't some kind of life or death decision either for the city's budget or the island, which while declined, can run the way its been running for years to come and still be a decent place.  Belle Isle, unlike the city, is not in an "emergency" stage in its management or physical state, yet.  

I'm tired of the state trying to creating artificial crises in our local governments to justify their authoritarian ways.

[ Parent ]
Detroit's fiscal situation is not entirely the state's fault
Detroit lost people and employers, which means it lost revenue all on its own. I won't get into the causes for this, but it's not just benevolent overlord Rick Michigan cutting revenue sharing (or Jennifer Granholm).

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
On point
MiddleGrandGuy is 100% right. No, Detroit's fiscal situation is not entirely the state's fault, but it's mostly the state's fault. Just like Congressional gridlock is not entirely the Republicans' fault, but it's mostly the Republicans' fault.  

[ Parent ]
To be fair
That wasn't even my point.  How Detroit's fiscal situation got to where it is has no bearing on why I feel the state isn't the best partner for Belle Isle.  The state could be least to blame for Detroit's fiscal situation, but the point is that they can't be an honest broker, anymore.  Unless we get something lawyers can look over to hold the state accountable, the city shouldn't be signing anything handing over management of anything to the state.

Of all the options available for Belle Isle - which, again, is a sideshow the media has whipped up into a frenzy that has no real bearing on Detroit's fiscal future - I think the state is the least credible partner, and I'm glad the city turned down this specific deal from them which dealt in lots of "maybes" and vague assurances, but very little promises.

I'm tired of the state treating Detroit like some kind of experiment.  This wouldn't be tolerated with any other city in the country.  It's really why I want to see Detroit ask for a structured municipal bankruptcy before the state is allowed to get its hands any deeper into Detroit.  The state and Snyder has absolutely zero credibility, and the city would be crazy to trust them with anything.

[ Parent ]
Fair enough
I still agree w/you! :)

[ Parent ]
What about Belle Isle National Recreation Area
Can't blame Detroit for not trusting Snyder's state government.  What about going the federal route?  Might only take a couple decades or two to accomplish:-)

Other options
There are other options.  The council is talking about possible proposals from the local port authority and the Riverfront Conservancy, which operates the impeccably managed international riverfront.  I'd be happy to see either of these partner with the city to upkeep and upgrade Belle Isle.

[ Parent ]
The Feds did a wonderful job with The Presidio of San Francisco
Converting The Presidio from a cramped, limited-use Army base at the north tip of the City into The Presidio Trust -- a mix of protected dunes/beach/forested areas (a greater acreage of greenspace than Golden Gate Park), a haven for artists and nonprofit/charitable organizations, and commercial use (the world headquarters of LucasArts was built on the site of the former Letterman Army Medical Center, where I served between 1987-89) -- has been a huge benefit to the City and the region.


"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
I have no problem with a "reasonable" agreement but  "parochial" politics on the part of those who would otherwise portray themselves as "reasonable" play just as big a role.

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