In response to Detroitblogger John's revealing description of Dave Bing's most recent, disastrous public meeting ("Rage against the machine," Sept. 19), and attempting to move the discussion beyond righteous denunciation, I offer the following critique of the Four Great Failings of the Bing Administration:
1) Unaccountability: Their basic philosophy and premise is that every issue, problem and activity facing the city of Detroit and its government is to be addressed by identifying an outside entity that can be given a contract and paid to take the problem off the administration's hands.
2) Top-down blindness: They view all issues and problems exclusively as management challenges, to be addressed by so-called "best practices" — neoliberal administrative and bureaucratic strategies — without regard to individualized circumstances, context, resources, equity or any other basic socioeconomic or political factors.
3) Narrow business mind-set: As Bing himself told representatives of Detroit's so-called "business community" very early in his term, "The first thing we've got to do from an administration standpoint is help you make money. That's the fuel for everything, you've got to be profitable."
4) Refusal or inability to listen to any other viewpoints: They see others' perspectives only as misguided relics of past failures, never considering that objections, complaints and critiques can best be met by seeking to constructively address the underlying concerns.
Is it about time for a reprise of Metro Times' famous "Just Go" cover? —Tom Stephens, Detroit
Tug of war
Every now and then I'm allowed to visit certain pubs or bars that distribute Metro Times, and when I do I search for and pick up a copy. I can't tell you how many times I've laughed my ass off when reading Jack's articles and his thoughts regarding situations in and around Detroit. I'm an old-timer, a guy that's seen the city during its heyday and watched it sink into the mess the dear folks who live there created. Let's be honest: Forget color, forget race — not one resident of Detroit cared one iota about the direction the city was taking, just as long as they had control. Jack has a way of pointing that out, his facts prove what was and is the problem, but no one pays attention. His latest article regarding Belle Isle ("Belle Isle & the Blues," Sept. 19) is just another example of those who feel they are being infringed upon, forget the rest of the state is bailing them out, forget that 99 percent of the state could care less whether Belle Isle ever comes back, the selfish Detroit residents expect others to provide. Jack is my hero, he has a way of turning a phrase and, as an old guy in my middle 70s, I find his comments refreshing and needed. Keep up the great work, keep kicking them in the ass and, hopefully, it just might jar a few brains in Detroit. —Ron Navickas, Shelby Twp.
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