August 5, 2005
Love him or hate him, Kwame Kilpatrick cannot be ignored. As the youngest person ever to become mayor, Kilpatrick has caused much controversy with what could be classified as youthful inexperience. Dismissing the fact that he is a fellow alum, I do believe his youthful vision is much needed in a city that is at least 10-15 yrs behind more successful cities( ie NYC, DC, and Atlanta).
He is allledged to roll with a large posse, (aka mayor security force), and well equipped tax payer financed Lincoln Navigator. Unfortunately, these negative items make for good TV and sells plenty of newspapers. However, not very much is said about Kwame's vision of a new Detroit. The problems are well chronicled, and tough choices must be made to stem the tides.
The mayor seems to have a clear vision on what it would take to reinvent Detroit. He also understands that the idea that old rust belt cities must establish new value propositions due to the ever changing global marketplace. As stated previously, the auto industry left Detroit long ago. Most of the industry is now overseas, are in remote suburban areas.
Kwame understands this dilemna all too well and has engaged some of the most brilliant minds to discuss and rectify the matter. However, that is rather boring and doesn't sell papers or really amount to great theatre.
For what it's worth, he placed second in the recent primaries, so he does have a shot for re-election in November. It seems that it will be two man race, Kwame vs. deputy mayor of David Archer's administration.
Although, I'm not a native of this area, I believe I have figured out the mindstate of the locals. Most of the residents here are unwilling to make tough choices. It's apparent that they enjoy living in yesteryear. The hope is that wishing away the problems of Detroit will be enough restore its luster. I'm clear that I won't be around to see the metamorphisis, that is if it does actually occur. One certainty, is that continuity is necessary, let Kwame finish what he started.
Posted by AG at August 5, 2005 11:35 PM