Public Sector Reform: Detroit Mayor’s Tough Love Poses Risks in Election

Monica Davey:

Gone are the cheery promises of earlier city leaders about how Detroit is on the way back. How some new project downtown is surely just the first sign of a renaissance afoot. How things are not so bad.
Instead, Dave Bing, Detroit’s mayor of five months, delivers grim news by the day.
Detroit’s bus service will be cut, he said, and 230 city workers will be laid off next week. Those layoffs are among more than 400 since he took office, and more are possible.
Within a week, he is expected to announce how he will — through elimination, consolidation, outsourcing — shrink a city bureaucracy built for an earlier, booming Motor City.
“We’ve got to focus on being the best 900,000 populated city that we can be and stop thinking about ‘We can turn the clock back to the 1950s and ’60s,’ ” he said, referring to a time when the city, still the 11th most populous in the nation, was nearly twice as big. “That era is gone.”