Nolan Finley writes in the Detroit News that Bill Pulte's sudden shutdown of his Detroit Blight Authority has its origins in Mayor Mike Duggan's office in Detroit city hall.
Pulte, who had commitments of $750,000 from foundations and others, got a phone call last month from three top Duggan aides who told him he was through. When he balked, sources say, Pulte was told the mayor was prepared to force him out, would deny the permits he needed to complete the Brightmoor clean-up and would publicly discredit his work.
Blight Authority board members then met with the Duggan team and urged the administration to finish the job in Brightmoor. They got that commitment.
The work, and all other blight remediation, will be overseen by Dave Manardo, who heads the Building Authority. Manardo comes to City Hall via a familiar route — he worked for Duggan at the Detroit Medical Center.
Pulte, 25, is member of the home-building family and had received abundant praise and publicity for his work clearing abandoned structures, trash and overgrowth from multiple blocks near Eastern Market and in the northwest Detroit community of Brightmoor.