I don’t watch much TV and limit my intake of newspaper reporting to weekends only. Because of this, my “news” is rather “olds” but there’s one thing that has been glaringly apparent in the last six months and that is this:
In the last half year since he has been accused (rightly so) of perjuring himself in a court of law, negotiating an astronomical settlement with a couple of cops he had a hand in firing, having at least one extra-marital affair (with his chief of staff), spending lavishly and uncontrollably, Mr. Kilpatrick has somehow managed to maintain both a low profile and his title. In his refusal to step down as mayor, he has taken the stand of hunkering down in the Manoogian Mansion, while definitely under siege by Prosecutor Kym Worthy and is still able to sidestep the press. The mayor has declined most photo ops, and even turned down an appearance with Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. He claims not to want to steal Barack’s thunder, but it could be that he was dis-invited by the Democratic hopeful. With friends like Kilpatrick, who needs enemies?
His low profile may be a good thing for him, because unbelievably, the dirt appears to get dirtier.
My last couple of newspapers contained headlines screaming of text messages suppressed, then the acquisition of new text messages of other Kilpatrick friends, colleagues and relatives, including his father, his sister, police chief Ella Bully-Cummings, etc. It appears that the mayor may have had dalliances with other women besides his wife and his chief of staff. This would ordinarily mean nothing, but it's the opinion that if a man will lie about one affair, he might just lie about other things as well.
For some reason that I couldn’t fathom, neither City Council nor Governor Granholm wanted to step forward to remove the self-proclaimed Hip Hop Mayor. It’s no wonder, with the headlines of the next day. A can of whoop-ass was opened on the Detroit City Council, with claims of corruption among some of those who should have been asking for a resignation.
Is no one clean here?
I have to shake my head when reading the details of how certain council members were bought with as little as $2,000. If you’re a council person about to accept a bribe, wouldn’t you make it worth your while and ask for a little more?
Is everyone in public service there for the express purpose of lining his/her wallet?
I’ve held my breath since January, waiting for a positive resolution to the morass that is the city of Detroit. Yes, I’ve turned blue in the meantime. Instead of being cheered by the hope of a progressive momentum, I’m left breathless waiting for the next steel-toed boot to drop. I’ve also turned “blue” as in losing my rosy outlook of what could be. Despondency is the next step.
I own a building and a business in Detroit, and had I known that all it takes is a few well-placed greenbacks to grease the palms of some key civic leaders in order to get things moving, I might have considered it. It would have saved me a few months of dealing with the fire marshal to get a piece of paper signed. I have seen this over many years of living here, and it’s not just the mayor’s office or city council that is touched by corruption, waste and inefficiency. It appears that all public services, from the mayor, to the city tax department, to the school board, to the water district, to social services, are involved. It all smacks of a level of ineptness and a smidgeon of greed. It’s an attitude that starts from the top and trickles down from there.
While this might seem like a tirade against That Which is South of Eight Mile, in actuality, I would love to see the city turn around, both economically and politically. My business counts on a healthy Detroit. But with the entire world watching the drama, who in his/her right mind would want to invest in a sinkhole like this one? On the other hand, there’s a part of me that holds out hope.
There’s the other part of me that doesn’t want to turn blue and stop breathing before that happens.