Duggan for Detroit?
DETROIT — As this paper went to print, Detroit Medical Center CEO Michael Duggan announced his filing to establish an exploratory committee for Detroit’s 2013 mayoral race.
“People across the city have been wonderful in their encouragement,” Duggan said in a press statement. “This is the final step in evaluating whether to make the commitment and formally launch a campaign for mayor of Detroit.”
“I’ve never seen things this bad,” Duggan said about Detroit. “This month we had 32 murders in 15 days, the city’s plan to replace streetlights collapsed in Lansing, and the city just ran up another $40 million deficit in the last quarter despite the consent agreement. Over the next 90 days, we’re going to see if our team can develop a plan that can be successful in turning the city around and whether we have a campaign plan that can succeed in winning this election. Then we’ll make a decision.”
Many Detroiters, however, have already come out against Duggan. Most cite Duggan’s role in the diminishment of local resident’s political power. In a letter to the editor from Detroit School Board member Elena Herrada, she calls him the “stranger king” because of his recent move from Livonia to Detroit to run for mayor. She likened his run and possible rule as a “remnant of colonialism.”
She also says her problem with Duggan is that he is the person who is responsible for “(Detroiters’) lost governance.” Herrada calls Duggan’s background and record “troubling,” noting his role in the Educational Achievement Authority, the Detroit Medical Center, which was privatized, and at Wayne County Prosecutor’s office after the destruction of Recorder’s Court.
Duggan appeared on “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson,” a local radio show on WCHB, on the day of his announcement. One caller said he would not vote for Duggan because of his role in “taking the Detroit Public Schools and eliminating Black contractors.”
The caller was referring to the business mogul’s mantle at Detroit Public Schools when the state first took over during the early 2000s. Duggan, then DPS deputy CEO, set up a committee of seven contractors to oversee the spending of more than a billion dollars in bond money, raised by Detroit taxpayers, to make capital improvements to schools. That committee replaced a community-based council that gave consideration to Black and Detroit-based contractors.
At the time, the Michigan Citizen ran stories about the misspending and double billing by school contractors, including one contractor who had painted over a hamburger in the school cafeteria and orders for contractors to repaint schools two and three times. The shortened football field at Cass Tech was a product of this same council. The contractors, who many believe abused taxpayers’ money, then held a fundraiser for Duggan’s Wayne County Prosecutor race. Duggan went on to beat former mayoral candidate and former Councilwoman Sharon McPhail.
Duggan’s campaign organizers say Michigan law requires an exploratory committee to begin to spend or raise money. He hopes to raise $5 million dollars for the race. Organizers also say they will meet with community stakeholders in upcoming months.
Duggan says he would make a final decision as to whether he would run for mayor by the end of 2012.
Tom Barrow to ‘announce run for mayor of Livonia’
Tom Barrow, who has also run for mayor of Detroit, wrote this in response to Duggan’s announcement:
I will be submitting paper work this morning to form a committee to run for mayor of Livonia. I will be submitting the paper work at the Livonia City Hall, once I can find out where it is, to run for the leadership of a city I never lived in nor know much about.
As a lifelong Eastside Detroit resident, I feel it’s my regional duty to lead the people of Livonia since they lack any qualified candidates of their own. I would also expect the enthusiastic endorsement of the Observer and Eccentric newspaper as they have already printed favorable articles on my potential candidacy in the past few weeks, and today will be writing about my announcement from unnamed sources that I assigned to manipulate them.
I am asking good Livonians for recommendations on a suitable barbershop for me and beauty shop for my wife, since I do not know of any yet. My key supporters, who egged me on into the race, will be mapping out suitable opinion leaders in Livonia for me to meet to convince them that I am the best thing for their city since wheat bread. Finally, I would expect the majority of Livonians, who have no clue as to my policies or personality or fitness for office, to embrace me enthusiastically for no other reason other than I said they would.