Duggan talks on Detroit’s future at community forum
By Donald Barnes
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT – Mayor-elect Mike Duggan spoke at the Detroit Unity Temple church Nov. 9 during a community forum focused on the city’s past and future.
In order to turn around the city a change must occur, Duggan said.
He added, “Detroit has to face reality as it is.”
“Companies and communities keep declining because (they) cling to some vision of the city,” Duggan said. “We’re not going to get to the kind of city we want in six months. I do expect in the first six months that people start to feel safer. People will start to see progress on the streetlights and abandoned buildings.”
Duggan said he expects the current Belle Isle lease proposed by Emergency Manager Keyvn Orr and Gov. Rick Synder will past next week.
However, he said, he will not jump to support the move, unless (he sees it as) beneficial to the city. He told those gathered at the forum that he has been in conversations (with the EM and Governor) regarding the lease, among other city assets.
“I’m not in favor of giving away our assets, I don’t see why we should give up our assets,” Duggan said. “Reality is, Gov. Synder and Keyvn Orr can transfer the water department if they wanted to. My job is to persuade them that they don’t want to, I will do the best I can.”
During public comment Duggan told the Michigan Citizen that he does not support the Stop-and-Frisk policy here in Detroit.
“You have no right to stop (someone) because of the way they look, stop-and-frisk needs to be based on criminal behavior and not appearance,” Duggan said. “I think (Police Chief James Craig) may not have phrased it the way he meant to in the first place.”
Although, he said he believes Craig is on the right track and trying to do the right thing.
Maintenance costs to many areas within DPD have stalled Craig’s push for improvement in policing the city, Duggan said.
“My highest priority is to align the rest of the city government to support this department, we need to make more progress,” he said. “Right now we are paying our officers below the (national) rate, which means all you’re doing is training them for the suburban police department. You have to pay competitively.”