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Disappointed in MT

Dear editors: I can only say that I am very disappointed that you chose to endorse Freman Hendrix in the mayoral campaign (“What Detroit needs and what Detroit can get,” Metro Times, July 20). I always felt that you listened to and expressed opinions more in line with grassroots and the more liberal to progressive folks. In the Detroit community (and I am a Detroiter) Freman Hendrix has little to no appeal with many people who fall into these categories. His attempt to “ride on the coattails” of Dennis Archer (when I meet someone who is voting for him the only real reason they give me is “because he worked for Archer”) is not working with many people. After the other Detroit papers endorsed Hendrix you — the one paper that I thought was not a part of the pack — then in turn endorsed Hendrix, “with certain reservations.”

Metro Times could have set itself apart from the usual crowd and endorsed the only candidate who has real solutions for Detroit: Sharon McPhail. She is the only candidate who talks about growing the city through retention and repopulation. The other candidates seemed to have given up hope and only talk about shrinking city government to accommodate where we are and where we are going or offering plans that just don’t elicit excitement or provide detail. McPhail is attempting to stop the “slide downward” by offering an aggressive plan to combat crime (a drop by 50 percent in her first term), reduce taxes (to the same level as other municipalities in Wayne County), and her most ambitious plan is to offer Detroit’s children free college tuition through her Detroit Children’s Fund. McPhail is not a candidate from the McNamara machine, nor is she a candidate with millions of dollars to spend on re-election; she is the people’s candidate!

Your tepid endorsement has certainly disappointed me and those Detroiters whom I associate with. —Brad Dick, Detroit, scorpion1119@comcast.net

 

Agree to disagree

To the editors: We have been longtime readers of the Metro Times, and though in general we agree with your opinions and views as the area’s “progressive” newspaper, we have had several instances where we strongly disagree with you. This is one of those times.

We were startled to see that you have endorsed Freman Hendrix for mayor in this August’s Detroit mayoral primary election. Further, why endorse any candidate if the best one out of the four candidates, in your eyes, gives you reservation to do so? Don’t endorse anyone.

You say Detroit needs a mayor who will: 1.) Promote regionalism without his/her hat in hand, 2.) Tackle development in a large scale, not in one-off projects downtown, 3.) Restore the Detroit Police Department to efficiency and effectiveness, 4.) Show political backbone, ethics and character to restore a sense of trust.

Somehow your editors were brainwashed the day Freman Hendrix came in. 1.) Freman will be at the beck and call of business leaders in the suburbs who are supporting his campaign. Hat in hand? I think so. 2.) Freman takes credit for the Archer-years development of downtown. Nothing happened while Archer was mayor anywhere else other than downtown. He, and Freman, are the poster children for this one-off, come-save-us-you-next-big-company type of project. 3.) Freman wants to open mini police stations. I repeat: mini stations. Do you really think opening mini stations, that will require more police to staff them instead of being out in the streets, will do a damn thing for crime? Or putting up cameras all over the city. Are you for real? Finally 4.) Is it ethical to give government contracts to a company, then leave office to go work for that company? I’d bet you would argue that John Engler is less than ethical because he went to work for EDS after awarding them millions in state contracts.

We are both outraged that Freman Hendrix’s shortcomings are glossed over again and again by a willing local media that we thought did not include you. We were wrong. On this point, you are simply going with the flow, no matter how much it smacks in the face of even your own introduction to the story. —Todd Ridley & Bryan Waldecker, Detroit

 

Hendrix can do it

To the editors: Kudos to Ric Bohy, Curt Guyette and the rest of the Metro Times editorial staff for the Candidate Q&A “;Grilling Detroit’s mayoral hopefuls.”

Before I read the questions posed to each candidate and their responses, I assumed that the word “grilling” was used metaphorically.

After reading the challenging questions posed by the editorial staff, I’m sure most readers agree that this piece should have been titled “scorching the asses of Detroit’s mayoral hopefuls”.

I’ve followed local, state and national politics for over 35 years. This vetting process was, by far, the most comprehensive and toughest that I’ve ever seen ... for any political contest, local, state or national!

I agree with Metro Times’ endorsement of Freman Hendrix for Mayor.

As a citizen of a city mired in grand jury investigations, apparent ethical violations, scandals and rumors of scandals, I especially appreciate the editorial board’s acknowledgment that Freman served the citizens of Wayne County and Detroit for over 25 years, “without taint or scandal.”

However, I disagree with the editorial boards’ reservations about whether Detroit’s problems are “fix-able” and its apparent belief that, Freman, while much better qualified than Kilpatrick, McPhail or Clarke to take on the challenge of rebuilding Detroit, may not get the job done.

From day one, the Hendrix campaign was based on doing the impossible. None of the political commentators and experts, including your own Jack Lessenberry, gave Freman much of a chance of even competing in the mayoral primary, let alone winning.

Without support from any of Detroit’s established organizations or longtime civic and political leaders, Freman crafted a message and plan of hope and resurrection that is reflected in his now well-known “road map.”

And then, with the support of his wife Elaine, his two children, his campaign manager, who is his brother, Rudy, his director of communications, who is without peer, Cathy Nedd, and a small cadre of dedicated volunteers, Freman proceeded to rewrite the book on political campaigning with a carefully crafted, but heretofore unheard of “retail approach.”

This “retail approach,” which entailed meeting with and engaging Detroiters and non-Detroiters, in their homes, churches, plants, and union halls, on issues that concerned them, was executed with a level of accessibility, determination, energy, honesty and openness probably never seen in any election, local or state or national, anywhere in America.

The citizens of Detroit and those who support its renaissance can rest assured that, with their encouragement and support, a leader like Freman Hendrix, who has had the faith, courage and energy to work tirelessly, seven days a week, 12-16 hours a day, for over a year, to find out what matters most to citizens, will make these issues his top priority, will not fail. —Larry Hightower, CPA, Detroit, lhighto831@comcast.net

 

Shocked by endorsement

I read your article on mayoral endorsements.

To be quite honest, I was shocked that you did not endorse mayoral candidate Sharon McPhail.

It appears as though you guys fell in line with mainstream newspapers

What’s more, you couldn’t even give him an honest, heartfelt endorsement.

The flak you shoved at Ms. McPhail was less critical than his. My question to you, is “Why didn’t you endorse her?”

Sharon McPhail is the clear choice for mayor of the city of Detroit.

The citizens who live here love her.

The good old boys network still finds it hard to support not just any woman, but an African-American woman.

The way your endorsement read for the other guy makes me happy that you did not endorse Ms. McPhail. God knows what lie you may have said toward her.

Come on, Metro Times, get it together and consider support for an individual who the people will send to a victory on Aug. 2. —Denise R. Young, Vice-chairperson, 13th Congressional District, Detroit

 

The real holy rollers

I’d like to thank Sarah Klein for her for her warm and open-minded treatment of the Christian biker movement (“I ride for Him,” Metro Times, July 13). It’s become a rare pleasure for me to come across any positive reference to Christianity in the secular media and her piece was very touching. Authentic Christianity has always thrived “within a yard of hell,” quietly going about its business of saving lives, both physically and metaphysically, far away from politics, cameras, big money and dogmatic squabbles. And, unfortunately, far away from most authors of history books — and journalists. Thank you again. —Dave Habermehl, Wayne

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