Mayoral nitty-gritty 

Back in June, the Detroit Urban League conducted a survey during what it called a special “Grits & Issues” breakfast. The nonprofit group wanted to know what qualities the city’s next mayor should possess. It wasn’t intended to be a comprehensive, scientific look at the race, but it does provide an insightful snapshot. Some of the results, released just last week, came as no surprise, mirroring the responses Metro Times received when we talked to a wide variety of civic leaders for a story we did last month.

The top requirement identified by the Urban Leaguers getting down to the nitty-gritty was a focus on rebuilding neighborhoods and addressing community concerns. After nearly a decade of watching the Archer administration focus on downtown development, the city’s residents seem to be calling for a leader who will make sure basic services are going to be delivered.

“Integrity” was ranked second with managerial/CEO-type skills coming in a close third. It’s pretty clear that whoever moves into the Manoogian Mansion should have the ability to reform the city’s bureaucracy.

What we found particularly interesting were the responses to two subsequent questions. The first asked respondents to declare who they thought was the best candidate for mayor. While nearly half indicated it was too early in the race to make a decision, 27 percent named Kwame Kilpatrick as their man, while 13 percent selected Gil Hill. However, when asked who they thought would win, 40 percent predicted Hill. Only 22 percent thought Kilpatrick would win the job.

We here at News Hits are puzzled, and maybe our readers can help us out. Is Hill really as strong a candidate as people think? Is this race really a done deal already? Seriously, we’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail

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