Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Detroit and the Divine Right of Mayors.


And all this time I thought he was on assignment by the people who voted him into office.

I really like how Kilpatrick says that his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, resigning was "the right thing to do". It was the right thing for her to do... but not for him. He's "on an assignment from God", and, according to the article, he's "never been a quitter and doesn't plan to start now."

Not only is Kilpatrick not stepping down, he's planning to run again in 2009, saying that he will "make a case at that point, too, why [he's] the best person for the job."

I can't wait to see that.

This scandal alone has cost the tax-payers over 9$ million. That's not exactly a drop in the ocean. Kilpatrick has a long history of scandalous behaviors that reflect poorly on a city that desperately needs a turn-around. Now he's facing perjury charges. A former Detroit auditor general estimated that Kilpatrick charged in excess of $50k in personal expenses to the city, back in '05. Three former aides- two of them former classmates of Kilpatrick's- embezzled almost $50k from the mayor's petty cash account. And then there's the bad publicity the city received in the wake of the Tamara Greene murder and the Manoogian Mansion party. Or the lease of a Lincoln Navigator that cost the city $24,955 ($5 under what would have required city council approval- convenient, yes?), but that was to be used by Kilpatrick's wife and children. There's the blatant nepotism that Kilpatrick has repeatedly engaged in- placing family and friends in high-paying positions for which they have few qualifications. There's the fact that Washington D.C. police refuse to provide Kilpatrick's entourage with the level of police protection offered other mayors because of Kilpatrick's "inappropriate" behavior on previous D.C. visits. Or the use of almost $9k of a charity fund meant to improve the city of Detroit to take his wife, sons, and babysitter on a week-long vacation to the La Costa Resort and Spa in CA. Add to all of that the countless charges of physical violence that reporters and photographers have levied at Kilpatrick and his security teams.

The city is suffering- unemployment keeps going up. The housing market is tanked. The auto industry- the life-blood of the city- is slashing jobs. And maybe he can't fix all of those problems, and maybe they're not necessarily his fault... but he is responsible for his behavior, and for the people he puts into positions of authority. And he is responsible for being the public face of the city.

And if Kilpatrick is the best person for that job, I'd hate to see the worst.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kwame's behavior disgusts me. He claims he's brought change, but Dennis Archer started the ball rolling for several enhancements to the city. The Superbowl and Riverwalk projects were both pending when Archer was in office.

Kwame's regime is starting to look very reminiscent of Coleman Young, and I'll be willing to bet that if he does run he'll get re-elected for a third term. He has so many friends in high places - literally - that I wouldn't be surprised if he won again.

This city's administration needs to be gutted from the inside out, including the city council and school board, before it can go anywhere else but down in the crapper.


P.S. You have our blue pyrex dish. :)