Fix the neighborhoods
Kudos to Jack Lessenberry for his commentary on leadership in Detroit (“They just don’t get it,” Metro Times, May 28-June 3). I have been hearing and reading about Detroit’s rebirth ever since I moved to this area in 1975 — and I’m still waiting. Stadiums and casinos look great but they won’t save Detroit. Detroit needs safe, livable neighborhoods — which sounds simple enough until one fully comprehends the kind of visionary leadership Kwame Kilpatrick needs to provide in order to control crime, fix the schools, provide basic city services, etc., etc. If Kilpatrick can take care of the mundane things that make a city livable, the stores, theaters, restaurants, stadiums, jobs — and increased tax revenues will come to Detroit on their own. —Mike Karagozian, Sylvan Lake
Style over substance
Lessenberry’s final statement, at least to me, thus far has summed up the entire Kilpatrick administration: “...You do get an entourage and limousines, and you do get to go to Pistons games in high style, and there is nothing wrong with occasionally enjoying all those things. As long as you don’t think that’s what the job is about.”
Sadly, Mayor Kilpatrick has given the impression that it is indeed most of what he is concerned with. Flash is no substitute for substance.
I just hope Detroit voters remember that come the next election. I say bring back Dennis Archer. —Jonathon Kecskes, St Clair Shores
The pride is missing
We need a mayor to make us proud to be Detroiters. Ronald Reagan may not have been the best president, but he made all of us extremely proud to be Americans and excited about our country. That patriotic feeling is needed in Detroit badly. Detroit has so much potential and it makes me sad that out mayor is not doing anything major about it. Looking back at Detroit in the 1920s and ’30s is perplexing. How is it so much different now? —Sabrina DeSanto, Sabrinad116@yahoo.com, Northville
A city that works?
Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I had to leave Detroit rather than pay outrageous taxes and receive very little in return and have my children attend failing schools.
The affluence of the suburbs may be out of the clutch of many Detroiters, but they should be able to have their streetlights work, their trash collected and their snow plowed.
The people should ask the mayor to concentrate on the job of governing the city and leave the hip-hop lifestyle to Eminem and 50 Cent. —Phil Peters, Southfield
The danger of truth
Jack’s Lessenberry’s column (“What the mayor did,” Metro Times, May 21-27) touches on a very real problem in public employment. If a public employee tells the ugly truth about the system, they get fired.
Gary Brown is not the first public employee to be victimized by retaliation. Arrogant public officials and administrators regularly discipline and fire so-called “disruptive” employees who dare make waves. Michigan labor laws and courts support such disciplines based on the flimsiest of excuses.
Brown faces an ominous truth himself. Does one employee, who will have a multitude of compliant witnesses testifying against him, unravel the Detroit political machine? I don’t think so. It will be much easier to stick it to Brown, no matter what the truth is. The truth can be twisted by enough lies. —Ken Farhat, Sterling Heights
It’s a living
I just wanted to thank Ian M. LeBlanc for his excellent article about forensic photographer Kelly Root (“Remains of the day,” Metro Times, May 28-June 3). As a female working in a funeral home, it’s refreshing to see a female earn some credit in the death care industry dominated by males. I’m not a gothic femi-nazi, just a girl who’d like to say thanks to Kelly for doing an everyday job. —Jenny Jacka, WestlandSend comments to firstname.lastname@example.org