Mayor Bing is Waiting for God to Save the City
I’d like to share a parable, if I may, with a little Detroit twist.
Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was sinking under water. A flood had ravaged the city. And the mayor, a man named Dave Bing, sat atop the roof of city hall, waiting as the water continued to rise, for God to save him.
As the water rose, a row boat pulled up and guy who went by the initials “EM”, aka Emergency Manager, shouted to Bing, “I’m here to save you, jump in.”
“No, that’s Ok,” Bing responded. “I’m waiting for God to save me.”
A little while later, a helicopter hovered up above. A ladder dropped down and a man named Rick Snyder yelled down: “Grab a hold, I’m here to help you.”
“No thanks,” Bing responded. “I’m waiting for God to save me. Besides, you can’t just fly in here without a permit from the city.”
Eventually the water got so high and Bing perished in the flood.
When he got to heaven, Bing went to God and said: “God what happened? I waited and I waited. I thought you were going to save me.”
God replied: “I tried. I sent you a row boat and I sent you a helicopter.”
I bring this up only because I find it so incredulous that Mayor Bing is thumbing his nose at the state, which is trying to help.
His misplaced pride is going to kill the city. Pride is going to keep the citizens in peril.
On Tuesday, Bing spoke to the NAACP in Detroit and blasted the state’s proposal to run and fix Belle Isle, one of the nation’s great, underrated parks that is in need of a serious upgrade. He also was highly critical of Gov. Snyder's plan to demolish hundreds of abandoned homes near Detroit schools.
The Detroit News reports that Bing said he welcomed the plans but doesn’t want it imposed upon the city.
"I have never in my 46 years in this city seen a governor of the state of Michigan involved in city politics like this one," Bing told the NAACP gathering, the News reported. "I'm not opposed to getting help. But it's the kind of help that we need, not the kind of help that's going to be imposed on us."
Yes, Detroit needs the help. Period. Yes, the mayor has the right to try and get best deal for the city when it comes to Belle Isle. Stop whining. Work it out. That's what good, competent politicians do. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. The city needs the state. The city needs the money.
Bing's response is just mind boggling.
The News reported:
Bing said he is opposed to the state's plan to come in and tear down buildings in the city because "that's us, that's our responsibility." The mayor has had a demolition plan in place for years, and city officials want to make sure the state adheres to that process in the wake of the plans by the governor to come tear down buildings in the city.
"My position as of yesterday in a meeting is no, you're not (coming in to do demolitions), because this is our city," Bing told the crowd about conversation with members of Snyder's staff. "You can't come in here and think you can do any damn thing that you want. There's a process that's already in place. You've got to use city departments for permits, for licensing, moving and equipment."
Look around the city. Look at all the abandoned buildings. Do we really need to go through the crippling bureaucracy of the city? Isn’t it nice that the state offered to knock down buildings? Isn't it great that the state wants to make Belle Isle the park it once was?
It looks as if the mayor may be waiting for the hand of God to save the city. The problem is, he may not recognize it when he sees it.