“For much of his public life, Mike Duggan has promised results by setting targets – and hitting them,” writes Mike Wilkinson in Bridge Magazine. “But for all of the mayor’s numbers, his office is the one reporting them, making them difficult to verify.” Here’s the full story, as part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative’s coverage of the mayor’s first six months in office.
Mayor Mike Duggan has been in office for six months. When he took office he asked residents to give him that same time period to show improvement in city services and government before they made a decision to leave the city. This week, the Detroit Journalism Cooperative has been taking a look at how and what Duggan has done in his first six months in office. Today on the The Craig Fahle Show, Bridge Magazine’s Nancy Derringer, Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham and WDET/Next Chapter Detroit’s Sandra Svoboda discuss with Craig what the mayor has — and hasn’t — done.
So, how has the vaguely defined category of “livability” fared under the first six months of the Mike Duggan administration? Let’s start with the obvious: The temperature rose to a high of 18 degrees on New Year’s Day, when Duggan took the oath of office. The weather is markedly better in June. That has a way of improving anyone’s outlook. What else? Bridge magazine reports on other benchmarks and the mayor’s progress on them.
In its first six months, Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration is building confidence that more jobs are on the horizon, though experts say hard evidence is sketchy and that much of the growth so far continues to bypass the city’s struggling neighborhoods. Business leaders say results from the early months of Duggan’s term portend greater progress in the months and years ahead. As part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative’s coverage of the mayor’s first six months, here’s a look at how he’s doing on the employment issues.
While Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” drew a lot of attention last week at the Mackinac Policy Conference, Phil Power answers the question, “What about the rest of the state?” Power is the president of The Center for Michigan, a centrist “think-and-do” tank that produces Bridge Magazine, one of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative partners.
Writing in the Holland Sentinel, Power says:
The plain fact is that Michigan’s entire system of financing local government is tottering on the brink of collapse. This is similar to what was happening with school finances, prior to Proposal A. With all that’s going on just now – battles over the roads, the Detroit “Grand Bargain” and the need to recess to campaign in the coming election, I doubt there is enough energy, will, and time this year for our lawmakers to step up to meet the challenge.
“Business Leaders for Michigan supports the state taking steps to accelerate Detroit’s exit from municipal bankruptcy in a sound fiscal condition,” writes Doug Rothwell, the group’s president and CEO. “We also support the state making a significant contribution to the comprehensive financial restructuring plan developed by the Emergency Manager and the establishment of a financial oversight process to ensure the maintenance of sound fiscal practices that will improve city services.”
The Detroit Journalism Cooperative wanted to know what voters outside of Detroit think about the state proposals to support the city’s pensioners and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts collection as part of the bankruptcy case. So we asked them in an EPIC-MRA poll, commissioned by the DJC with support from Renaissance Journalism through a grant from the Ford Foundation. We sought to measure how voters outside Detroit think about the city, and whether they back a state financial contribution to help Detroit emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
What did they say? Below is a round up of all the partner coverage of the poll results.
The results are especially timely as today in Lansing legislators begin taking testimony and considering a 10-bill package to providing funding for and oversight of the city.
From Bridge Magazine:
Michigan voters, including Republicans and those who live far from bankrupt Detroit, want the state to provide financial support to its largest city as part of a “grand bargain,” according to a statewide poll. What’s more, voters across the political spectrum said they would not hold a vote in support of Detroit financial aid against their own elected representatives. The findings come as lawmakers in Lansing debate a $350 million funding package for Detroit that critics deride as unwise and unfair to other struggling Michigan communities.
From Michigan Radio:
A new poll shows Michigan voters outside of Detroit approve using state money to support the so-called “Grand Bargain” to bolster City of Detroit retirees’ pensions and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection. It found almost half of voters outside the city of Detroit support the state government contributing $350 million to help solve some of the sticky issues of the bankruptcy. Forty-nine percent favor the contribution, 34 percent oppose it.
People like the plan better when they learn that the $350 million would go to bolster the retirees’ pension funds and protect the Detroit Institute of Art from having to auction off part of its collection.
Bernie Porn is with EPIC-MRA, the firm that conducted the poll. He says after you boil it down, when people know the money goes to retirees and to help the art museum, more people approve. “When you do that, you end up with 62% support for the proposal and that includes 74% of Democrats, 58 percent of Republicans, and then only 51 percent of independents,” Porn explained.
From WDET Radio:
Voters want state money earmarked for pensions, art
A new poll released today shows widespread support throughout Michigan for providing state money to Detroit especially when it’s designated for pensions or maintaining the Detroit Institute of Arts collection.
Roughly eight in ten respondents in the new poll say they view Detroit’s financial health as very important or essential to the health of the state. Nearly two-thirds of people in the survey say it’s a top priority or important for their elected officials to address Detroit’s financial recovery.