Letters to the Editor

Mar 5, 2008 at 12:00 am

Time to go

I read with interest the editorial "Just Go" (Metro Times, Feb. 27) and what I say is Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has got to go!

Mayor Kilpatrick is a liability that neither the city of Detroit nor southeastern Michigan can afford any longer. He's now starting to have a negative financial impact on the city and the surrounding area as the National Conference of Black Mayors canceled its annual meeting, which was to be held in Detroit in April. The reason given was, "possibly because of Mayor Kilpatrick's text message scandal," (The Detroit News, March 1). The MGM Grand Hotel had to cancel about 1,100 rooms.

I wonder how many tens of thousands of dollars this cost Detroit and the surrounding area. I wonder how many other organizations are pondering canceling their convention or have canceled in light of Mayor Kilpatrick's text message scandal. Mayor Kilpatrick, you have now become a negative financial and image liability that Detroit, and the southeastern Michigan region, can ill-afford. Just go! —Thomas A. Wilson Jr., Detroit

Out of the frying pan

I am not the hugest fan of Kwame Kilpatrick. I thought he ran the city during his first term of mayor like a child running a household for the weekend while his parents were gone. But when looking at the alternatives to Kilpatrick, I'm left wondering if we have any better choice.

In your article, you call for the mayor to leave, but then what? We'd have Ken Cockrel Jr. as mayor, Monica Conyers as council president and JoAnn Watson as council pro tem? I can't think of a more horrifying alternative than these three characters running our city. Meanwhile, the mayoral scandal will not go away with Kilpatrick's resignation.

Council, lawyers, media and so on will still be sorting through this mess and the residents of Detroit will have to deal with a transition in administration for just one year until the next election. Will the disruption really be worth the media getting the blood they thirst for?

I don't really see any advantage to Kilpatrick leaving office. The majority of Detroiters I know are more concerned with city services, developments, neighborhood projects than any salacious scandal that the media has been focusing on. I'd rather vote in a new mayor in another year than endure a transitioning administration for just one year, especially if it involves someone as uninspiring as Ken Cockrel Jr. —Jordan Medeiros, Detroit

Leading by example

I am the operations manager for a company that owns buildings in both Detroit and Southfield and have had some dealings with both cities.

From my standpoint, you are correct in saying that the mayor being untruthful does not directly affect investors in the city. But what it does affect is the city's ability to correct corruption and abuse of power in city departments. "If the mayor can abuse his power and get away with it, then why can't I?"

Those words might not be spoken by any city supervisor, but it's human nature to be influenced by the actions of your superiors. These problems actually do stop investors from wanting to invest, and they're virtually impossible to correct with leadership that is blatantly corrupt, self-serving and dishonest.

"Leadership by example" is not just a catchphrase, it is a bedrock principle that men and women in leadership positions have to follow, or the men and women in their charge will not follow them.

The city of Detroit will not be saved by a Quicken Loan, a casino, a Super Bowl or a Compuware. It is the mom-and-pop investor that keeps a store running or a bowling alley or a car dealership in operation. These businesses are invested in and operated by small investors, usually local residents. Because they are small, these are the businesses that deal directly with the city's true corruption and abuse of power. These are the business that you drive out of the city.

I agree with you about the infidelity being a private matter. It's the actions that he took to hide the affair that are the issue.

What I do have a problem with is the fact that he seems to spend the people's money like it's his own. He is an elected official that is charged with managing taxpayer money and should be held accountable for the misuse of city funds and be forced to personally return the funds he misused or caused to be misused. —Andy Armstrong, Southfield

MT too nice to Kwame?

Thank you for saying what needed to be said. I'd have to say your were a little too nice to Kwame. I think he has failed at far more than he has succeeded. As a Detroit resident I find him to be a huge embarrassment. As much as I think he should be punished for his crimes I would let him go without any legal battle if he'd just go now and never come back!

This is the kind of stuff that really makes the Metro Times valuable. Keep up the good work! —Bruce Loren Kirkland, Detroit

Sickening selfishness

I am just sickened by Mayor Kilpatrick's selfishness. The next time he comes up for election, we the people would like for him to count the votes from his family members, frat brothers, mistresses, etc. Let's see if those votes are enough to get him re-elected.

Please step down so we can find someone who is more like the late Mayor Young, so Detroiters can try to pull themselves from the double devastation of the crack epidemic and the auto industry's flight.

The late Mayor Young gave me my first job opportunity as a teenager in high school, and from that experience I was able to become more self-confident, to make better decisions about my life, and to obtain a master's degree.

Please resign, Mayor! If not for your dignity, your family, and those citizens who trusted your leadership, then for the young people who believe your behavior reflects the direction that they should be following! —Ketrina Pettiway, Detroit

Power to the people

I'd like to say your editorial was very informative and left me pondering quite a few things. One thing I would like to clear up is Hizzoner didn't not deem himself the "hip-hop mayor" — the media gave him that moniker. I'm not sure if demanding that he steps down will cure all the ills we have in this city.

Things were getting bad way before Kwame Kilpatrick. It's just that things have gotten worse. I am making no excuses for him — believe me. But can anyone name a politician in their lifetime that hasn't lied, even under oath?

I don't care who becomes mayor, there is no savior for Detroit. It's up to the citizens of this city to help make it better. If we continue to complain to each other about the woes we suffer, what do you think will be done?

We don't demand anything from our politicians on the local, state and federal levels. It's up to the people to demand accountability. If we continue as citizens to sit by idly, not participating in the political process, then we get what we deserve. —Kathy Bentley, Detroit

Tragic and comic

Thank you so much for your most informative article on why Mayor Kilpatrick should step down. I live in rural Michigan, and this whole fiasco is better than any soap opera the networks could have come up with. I can't wait for the next chapter! Sadly, though, it's the good citizens of Detroit who will suffer the most from this embarrassing and expensive debacle. —J.M. Elliott, Memphis

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