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John K. Bennett

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Detroit Residents Are Collateral Damage to the People Now Calling the Shots

Posted: 10/19/2012 5:13 pm

If it has not occurred to the people of Detroit yet, on the heels of 32 murders in 15 days or 31 fires in 32 hours the bell should be ringing loud and clear soon enough that we are nothing more than collateral damage to Governor Snyder, Mayor Bing and his financial advisory board. The city, at the request of the governor and advisory board has made steep cuts to fire, police, ems and just recently 30 water department workers went on strike because the board controlling the water department wants to cut 81 percent of its workforce.

So now not only is your life in danger because of the potential of being a victim of crime or fire, you won't be able to drink the water either. We, the people of Detroit realize the city is in a financial quandary, not of our making of course. We have been good citizens , paid our taxes and even raised our taxes when asked to. So now we've reached a point of apparent calamity and hard decisions have to be made. The problem with getting out of the crisis is the people calling the shots have decided that the people of Detroit are not important and what is important is the bottom line and nothing more. Officers, firefighters and EMS employees have lost 10 percent of their pay and face losing more but as a citizen that 10 percent cut in pay and the manpower loses that have come with it amounts to a great deal more, lives are being lost because there are no police or fire to respond to 911 calls.

Tragically other than Mayor Bing, who resides in the Manoogian Mansion, not one other person making the decisions about Detroit lives within the confines of the City of Detroit, so the decision is easier when you have no skin in the game. So what the citizens can't get a fire truck to respond? So what grandma gets robbed on her porch? So what your uncle or dad falls ill and dies before a emergency medical service worker arrives? Instead Governor Snyder wants to strong arm the city into giving him Belle Isle for 90 years. Talk about priorities being out of whack. And what is it the governor wants to do with Belle Isle? No one knows, he won't even tell City Council.

Detroiters are very forgiving even when its clear we've been used and abused, but what's insulting and painful to watch is a muted mayor who doesn't even have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and tell the people in Lansing, 'Look we understand our plight, but you could show some compassion.' But even in Bing's case, a recent resident to Detroit, you would have to be from here and have skin in the game to care enough to do that. One thing is certain, all those people who hungered for an outsider to lead the city, someone with no political ties, you got him. Be careful what you ask for.

 
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