Mayor Bing today announced cuts to the city of Detroit’s bus transit drivers as well as a revised route system to save money (http://www.freep.com/article/20090831/NEWS01/90831030/1320
). I know it may not be popular with many Detroiters, but it is just one of many cuts necessary to save Detroit from bankruptcy. And now the city’s union workers threaten to strike to save their jobs.
Job cuts and service cuts are never an easy choice, but I would give these unhappy city workers an alternative: quit. Resign. Get a job in the private sector. I will guarantee you that there are tens of thousands of unemployed citizens of Detroit who would take any city job at an average of 15 percent below the current pay/benefit scale. Maybe it is time for these disgruntled workers to show their real market value and get a job in the private sector like you and me. In fact, I would like one of those Detroit jobs.
It is amazing, not just in Detroit or even Michigan but the nation as a whole, how many people are unwilling to sacrifice a little now to save a whole lot later. I would gladly do the job of any two Detroit city employees for the price of one: I can drive a bus, hand out tickets, teach students. I have never taken a job and complained about my pay: I earned pay raises based on my performance. I am willing to take any of these jobs the Detroit, Midland, and state of Michigan workers seem so upset about giving up a little to maintain. It is called survival.
Detroit, at first glance with the arrival of Mr. Bobb and Mayor Bing, seems to be coming to the realization that these are desperate times. In my private sector business, I sometime could average $40 dollars an hour; other times I worked for nearly free because of unforeseen problems. But I didn’t go on strike or blame anybody but myself. I learned from my mistakes and moved on.
Detroit can be turned around by making the tough decisions and cutting expenses. Detroit also needs to get a unified civic involvement to take back the city one square inch at a time. Reclaim land and homes and business investment by showing the backbone to stand up against crime, corruption and cronyism. The old methods aren’t working in Detroit. Quickly reinvent yourselves and watch the investments come back.
I mentioned in another article about how Detroit was “cleaned” for the Super Bowl a few years back. It is that type of effort that needs to be multiplied one hundredfold to recapture this once great city. Are you willing to put forth that same effort and vision?
You have lots to fix in Detroit. Michigan has done much damage to itself as well. Don’t let the large-scale problems overwhelm you. Take the baby steps, grabbing back pieces of YOUR city by the square inch day after day and in less than a year (yes, less than a year) you will be amazed at what you have recaptured.
I don’t know Mr. Bobb nor Mayor Bing personally. It does appear that they have similar traits like me. I also called out people for inefficient and overexpensive government and was criticized mainly by the government employees. My guess is that these two men are on the right path.
So, Detroit, instead of worrying about the largesse of the multitude of problems hindering your city, grab small pieces at a time in a unified front and help the Mayor and Mr. Bobb clean out the problem areas of your city. Regardless of who is the mayor or head of the schools, they were going to face criticism. However, remember that sometimes the loudest complaining comes from the very people who are the heart of the problem.
I would ask the citizens of Detroit to call out the unhappy city employees like I did here in Midland a few years back: if you don’t like your jobs or your pay, we have thousands who could replace you tomorrow and would do a better job for a lot less money. This is just one of the many ways to take back Detroit. Square inch by square inch, dollar by dollar, you will be amazed what you can do if the majority of the city stays unified and doesn’t except continued failure.
You can contact me anytime, Detroit. I will gladly help you with my turnaround plan. Just by turning Detroit around, Michigan will follow. Help me help you build the government model that all municipalities and public schools can follow. You will be amazed at how quickly a little hard work and confidence can fire up the citizenry.