Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, indicted that he is ready to entertain creative solutions to fix Detroit's ailing problems. Let me first state, as the Former Communications Director for the City of Detroit, and former Press Secretary to the Mayor of Detroit, I am extremely familiar with the problems plaguing our city -- But they are not unique to just Detroit. Cities throughout the nation, indeed, the world are experiencing the very same problems we are. Our difference, will be in how we address the inherent problems before us. For example, tonight, the Mayor called on allowing a professional firm to come in and run Detroit's Public Lighting Department. Detroit Edison would be a natural partner, but for some reason, has either not stepped up an in to help or looked into the city's lighting problems and decided it was not a battle they want to fight. So who else. There are a number of other qualified companies, such as Indiana Michigan Power (AEP), Duke Energy and Corix.
Vancouver-based Corix is working on a great project in Portland. They are looking into creating energy districts within the city of Portland, to maximize resources, save money and create a sustainable model to carry the city into the future. WOW -- Energy Districts! Given Detroit's Dellimma, of open areas, pockets of populations and very little resources.
Just as the City of Detroit will draw new city council districts, city planners should look at the city and draw up city service districts and determine what services are need most and then allocate resources accordingly.
The City's bleak fiscal situation is not just old news, it is news other cities across this country are facing. However, it now takes leadership and creativity to step up and turn the city around.