|Gary Brown - 2012 Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem|
There’s one group in Detroit city government that has been exempt from all the austerity measures leveled at others. This group has kept its salary intact; the auto is still free; the health insurance paid for; those two months a year of vacation waiting to be taken; the pension protected. Yes, their pension is protected. In fact, name any cut that has hit any other sector of city government and one group remains untouched: the city council.Two years ago today (April 4, 2012) Detroit City Council voted to approve a Consent Agreement that gave the city over to fascist rule by the State of Michigan. A sufficient number of elected officials (6 vs 3) chose to allow SELECTED officials to run the city. They abdicated democratic rule.
Sadly three of those that voted in this manner won re-(s)election in November 2013. Detroit - you need to read the history book being created daily. If you blink you might not see the depth of matters.
When did it become OK to give large plots (or quantities) of land over for development without that land value being assessed?
- Hantz Woodlands - holding the lands for future real estate sale?
- New Red Wings Hockey Arena - the land baron has destroyed more than built and owes the city debts
Large corporations continue to request tax abatement in a system that desperately needs taxes paid by businesses. Who approves these requests? The legislative body of the City of Detroit, the City Council. Here are some of the practices of these corporate tax dodgers.
- Their promises are half baked of employing residents. Most import talent into the city - setting them up in sculpted corporate-managed neighborhoods. Then these new Detroiters can claim their resident life.
- Preferential land buying, lease arrangements, and insurance practices continue to squeeze long-term residents out of the city and out of Michigan. If that doesn’t work, then a reduced value buyout will transform ownership. Or maybe even condemn the place.
- Our public parks become watched over by private security forces. All part of the tax abatement “giving back” to the city program of wresting public commons into corporate control.
- Failing to put taxes into public government leaves the roads, utilities, and mass transit systems languish to be picked over for privatized service providers.
Who enables this system? Detroit’s legislative body, the city council.