Friday, January 07, 2011

Small Steps on a Narrow Path

It may have been a baby step but it was an important one.

Mayor Dave Bing announced this morning the firing of two executives within Detroit's fire department. The firings were at least in part the result of systemic department resistance to a police investigation into the coverup of a wallet's theft during a smoke alarm call.

All crimes committed by city worker's are supposed to be reported to internal affairs within the Police Department. The Fire Department failed to do so and Bing and the Police Department only became aware of the theft after a reporter from Fox2 in Detroit contacted them. Oops.

Detroit has inadvertently created a fire dilemma for its citizens--what do they do first? Do they bury their valuables in the yard before or after they make that fateful call?

Many a housewife will now have to hesitate. "The curtains are on fire, but I sure do enjoy those pearls!"

Fortunately, with response times being another issue within the department, a person should feel safe enough in calling the department first and then burying the family fortune out back--by the time they hear sirens grass might already have begun to conceal the disturbed soil.

Luckily for homeowners too, a shovel has always been considered standard fire fighting equipment. Now it has a dual purpose!

In making these changes Dave Bing is taking a small step toward cleaning up a city that has almost reached the point of no return. Corruption is so pervasive in his city that it infects every level of every department. Many people who work for the city are involved in the corruption and many of those left over are so used to seeing it on a daily basis that they have become immune to its ugliness.

We all get who we vote for. This is why I hold the citizens of Detroit ultimately responsible for the big ball of crap that their city has become.

Could things now be changing?

Certainly Dave Bing ran under the banner of "enough is enough" and he made ending corruption part of his campaign. His election is a testament to the fact that a great number of people who voted in the city felt they too had had enough.

Kwame Kilpatrick, Bing's immediately elected predecessor, was swept into office with a different mindset. He wanted to become wealthy by taking advantage of the easy pickings of a corrupt city. (Do I need to mention that he was reelected even after his first term was exposed as an orgy of excess, waste, fraud, and corruption?) Dave Bing came to office with the intent of ridding the city of corruption.

One man wanting to enrich himself. The other man wanting to enrich a city.

Firing these two fire department jackasses undoubtedly only scratches the surface. But, knowing that someone is finally willing to do some scratching makes me feel that Michigan might indeed have a glimmer of hope for its signature city and its long term future.

Mr. Bing, stay on the narrow path. And thank you for walking it.

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