State. Rep. John Olumba is spearheading a campaign to recall Mayor Dave Bing and investigate the Bing administration. It’s about time. A recall could begin next week if language is approved by Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett and election commissioners on Oct. 23. Volunteers could begin gathering signatures as early as next week to have Mayor Bing removed.
A successful recall could also mean a special election and Mike Duggan would be ineligible to run for mayor — he has not lived in Detroit long enough to run for a possible May special election.
For many, recall efforts are farfetched. They are seen as the Hail Mary of politics — a last ditch and nearly impossible effort. However, we believe this one deserves some consideration.
While several mayoral hopefuls have begun polling to get an understanding of their chances in the city, one bit of information has emerged. Early polling shows Detroit residents are not feeling Mayor Bing. Only 9.5 percent of residents, according to a Detroit News poll, favor Dave Bing in a mayoral bid.
We believe it could be even lower than this.
Mayor Bing is perhaps known for what he has bungled rather than what he has accomplished. He realized millions of dollars in cuts through tentative agreements with unions but abandoned that effort for the Consent Agreement, a pact with the state that added another layer of bureaucracy without money to pay for it. He proposed a long-term plan for the city, but after three years, we’ve seen nothing. He tried to take over the schools but couldn’t get it through Council. He tried to get the Lighting Authority legislation through the Senate and House but doesn’t know how Lansing works. He couldn’t get Belle Isle done. He has not only failed the grassroots and everyday citizens, but the city’s business leadership as well. He has neither the political will nor the relationships to achieve his goals. This is why Olumba and others believe his actions to move $60 million in federal funds out of city departments to nonprofits is irresponsible and malfeasant.
Bing has also steadfastly ignored or refused to engage the citizens of this city. As crime and violence have skyrocketed and children die, Bing hasn’t visited a single family to express compassion or condolences, nor has he addressed the long-suffering citizens of the city about this issue. Many believe it’s time for Bing to go, which may be why the 2013 campaign season has already begun.
Mayor Bing is vulnerable.
Additionally, Rep. Olumba is a formidable political opponent. Do not underestimate Olumba, who beat the well-funded, well-recognized, establishment-favorite Rev. Jimmy Womack for the state representative seat — and he did it the old-fashioned way. He knocked on doors and hit the streets. He was underfunded and, supposedly, outmatched but Olumba took Womack in the primary.
Olumba has a hard-won feel for Detroiters and he says he can collect 40,000 signatures in 90 days. We believe he, out of anyone, could actually do it — especially if he is funded. Maybe the unions, who have the most to lose as Bing continues, will help.