Friday, May 31, 2013

In the Detroit News

Some of my followers may have noticed that I have pretty much refrained from talking about politics this year.  That does not mean that it is not something I follow or think about. 

In fact, I did attend one Township Board meeting recently to voice my opinion on their use of a stated '$6,000,000' in extra? money they had lying around.  They, of course, ignored my opinion and did what they wanted with the peoples' money.  But, I did show up and speak, as is my right.

It is hard for me not to follow politics and government since my employment of over 30 years was for two governments:  the Charter Township of West Bloomfield and the City of Detroit.  And unless you have been living under a rock, if you are anywhere near this area you know that Detroit is in dire straits.

The talk of selling off the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts to satisfy creditors has set my blood boiling.  This is a City that has been in trouble for a very long time, way back to before I left there in 1977.  IMHO, if you loaned them any money you were taking a huge risk and maybe you should suffer the consequences the same as someone investing in swamp land in Florida.

And using the money to shore up pension and health care funds will not increase the level, or even maintain a necessary level, of service to the residents who still reside there.

But my reason for actually sitting here and commenting is a report in today's paper from some pundits in Mackinac at the Policy Conference.  One 'expert' says the city will be remarkably different in five to ten years.  Well, I guess you could construe that as remarkably 'better' or remarkably 'worse'.

The other says "a ten-year horizon is right."  Right for what?

I left the City in 1977 after the opening of the Renaissance Center.   Renaissance.  Get it?  Well, it never happened.  For years I kept telling folks that the City would turn itself around.  About twelve years ago I gave up saying that.  I no longer believed it would ever happen.

It is hard to give up faith in the city where you were born.  Where you got your first paying job at the old J. L. Hudson Company.  The City where you went to college for both of your degrees and then worked for ten years. 

I loved the DIA and the symphony.  I shopped at the Eastern Market.  I attended baseball games and concerts.  I used to go to Belle Isle on my lunch hours, get a hot dog and wander the grounds with my co-workers.

Those days are all long gone.  I miss them.  And I would like to think that future generations could enjoy them again the same way I did. 

But the City's issues are way more complicated than financial and can't be fixed by selling off a Van Gogh self-portrait.  The City needs to seriously look in the mirror at their own self-portrait.  And I don't just mean the politicians or the emergency manager. 

Here is a photo taken at Belle Isle in October, 1976.  My co-worker and friend Teresa is standing in the garden of mums and dahlias.  It's how I want to remember the City.  Just beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Get rid of everything beautiful or worthwhile and eventually you will have a city still in debt but one that no-one visits

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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