Every week is a new start. A new chance to get it right. The weekend reset button kicks in and by Monday hopefully things look a little better. At least that’s the case for the political climate in the City of Detroit.
Last week this time the fur was flying around a lawsuit that challenged the legality of the consent agreement. Since then the lawsuit was tossed, and the City Council immediately appointed the remaining members of the 9-meember financial advisory team. The team is set to turnaround city finances as part of the controversial consent agreement with the state. Phew. A lot can change in a week.
Looking at the complete list of appointees, the first thing I noticed was that many of them, seven out of nine are not from Detroit. Board members hail from the Metro Detroit suburbs such as Novi, Bloomfield Hills, Franklin, Birmingham and so on.
As a Detroiter, my knee-jerk response was "These are outsiders!" But after setting aside the involuntary Detroit-centric mentality, this actually seems promising. Speaking of new starts and clean slates, why not get outside opinions on city finances? Detroit has been mismanaging money for years and to put it nicely, "insiders" haven't been doing a great job at holding the city together.
There comes a point when we have to stop pointing fingers as citizens and stay engaged in the turnaround process by not only holding these board members accountable, but also by holding ourselves accountable for our own city. We have to shrug the "us vs. them" mentality that too often stifles progress.
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