If the proper mix of solutions work in Detroit, there will be a recipe for success that will help to guide other major cities with problems very similar to ours.
Emergency managers have the ability to make policy changes that are not necessarily politically popular, but are considered to be in the best interest of the city and its residents.
To abort Public Act 4, before it has been allowed an opportunity to be assessed, would be unfortunate, not only for the communities it is specifically designed to help, but for other communities that would benefit indirectly.
I believe that as emergency manager, I can be most effective if I communicate frankly with all District stakeholders. I have a controlled "open door" policy.
I have been an emergency manager under both Public Act 4 and its predecessor Act. The major drawback I had operating under Act 72 was that the process of restoring fiscal stability took too much time.
While there are notable exceptions, for the most part both local Michigan units of government and schools have done whatever was necessary to remain fiscally sound under very difficult circumstances.
What was lacking in the State of the City speech was not so much the specifics, but the inability of the mayor to follow through on the recognition that we need to think very differently about where we are and what we need to do.
For the first time in two fiscal years, the city will not have to borrow to meet operating expenses. The current fiscal year budget is balanced, with general fund revenues expected to outpace expenditures.
During the past 26 months, Detroit City Council has been more fiscally conservative than the Bing administration, when it comes to managing the City of Detroit's finances. We are reformers who have restored order and unity.
In Michigan's largest city, 67 percent of children live in poverty. How can they not? Unemployment in Detroit is thought to be close to 50 percent by the city's mayor.
Whether you count yourself as a member of Detroit's revival community or you are burnt out, disgusted and sitting on the sidelines, it's time for us to dig in and push ourselves to the next level.
No irony is lost in the fact that two of Detroit's biggest companies, GM and Chrysler, went through bankruptcy in 2009 and have emerged stronger. Municipal bankruptcy is considered by many to be a last resort for localities in fiscal trouble.
Typically, when re-drawing boundaries, legislators -- local, state and federal -- create districts and then present them to the public as a final product. My colleagues and I desired a more open process.
What will be interesting to watch in the 2012 elections for Detroit City Council will be to see which of the winners pulls in the most in campaign donations from her/his own district.
If an emergency manager were to be assigned, a potential outcome would be the sale of Belle Isle. If Detroit is a black city, then Belle Isle is black land. It is precious, peaceful, protected land held in trust for the people of the city.
As a former Marine, I am well aware of the plight, roadblocks and lack of information plaguing our veterans. Michigan lags far behind other states in accessing veterans' benefits.