Detroit City Charter is big problem

Rosslyn Smith
 

In a Wall Street Journal article by an individual who was head of the city Department of Transportation for a year details how the way Detroit's government is organized creates a bureaucratic logjam that makes the decline in services impossible to correct.  He concludes:

The last thing Detroit needs is a bailout. What it needs is to sweep away a city charter that protects only bureaucrats, civil-service rules that straightjacket municipal departments, and obsolete union contracts. A bailout would just keep the dysfunction in place. Time to start over.

I particularly liked this fiddling while Rome burns passage:

Micromanagement by the council was endemic; I once sat for five hours waiting to discuss a minor transportation matter while City Council members debated whether to authorize the demolition of individual vacant and vandalized houses, one by one. There are over 40,000 vacant houses in Detroit.

 

 

In a Wall Street Journal article by an individual who was head of the city Department of Transportation for a year details how the way Detroit's government is organized creates a bureaucratic logjam that makes the decline in services impossible to correct.  He concludes:

The last thing Detroit needs is a bailout. What it needs is to sweep away a city charter that protects only bureaucrats, civil-service rules that straightjacket municipal departments, and obsolete union contracts. A bailout would just keep the dysfunction in place. Time to start over.

I particularly liked this fiddling while Rome burns passage:

Micromanagement by the council was endemic; I once sat for five hours waiting to discuss a minor transportation matter while City Council members debated whether to authorize the demolition of individual vacant and vandalized houses, one by one. There are over 40,000 vacant houses in Detroit.