Post Number: 488
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - 4:17 pm: || |
Jt1, not to make too fine a point on things, but I believe it was meant to be a joke. Funny or not.
The notion of changing one's name to get elected - or to use a well-known name - is not a joke.
Coleman Young Jr. aka Joel Loving, is a State Rep. and is Lamar Lemmons jr. Mr Lemmons is the father of Lamar Lemmons III who was disgraced in office but was term-limited out before he could be kicked out. He was found guilty of Campaign fraud by a jury in 2005.
http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,1 607,7-164-34739_34811-158964-- ,00.html
Post Number: 105
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - 4:48 pm: || |
Toledo is a great example of the advantages & disadvantages of at-large vs. district - they have both. Some of the district reps have great reps for fighting hard for specific needs in their area, while ignoring (literally) attempts at communication by residents in other areas.
On the other hand the at-large just seem overwhelmed and often torn between "moneyed" interests in economically sound areas of the city and the interests of the desperately-in-need. Hard to serve two masters.
Post Number: 788
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - 11:29 pm: || |
Give voters a chance to elect a local representative to fight for their respective districts, nothing else. Why would anyone in their right mind oppose this I do not understand, except to keep power they do not deserve.
Post Number: 11074
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 12:08 am: || |
Last primary there some 100 candidates. I most likely over looked a couple quality candidates because I simply could not learn all 100 + candidates and their positions on key issues.
A good portion of them didn't really supply any info to the public. I did my best to research as many as possible (most of my people lost) but a lot of people just threw their name in the hat.
Post Number: 2462
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 12:49 am: || |
Supersport, don't you mean that a "ward-system" would NOT benefit Detroit?
Skulker, you say Supersport is dead on in being against a ward-system but then you say, "Eliminating by wards eliminates a lot of noise and distractions and allows voters to select candidates on a much more informed basis."
So, Skulker, are you in favor of a ward-system or against it?
(Message edited by royce on December 19, 2007)
Post Number: 3799
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 6:43 am: || |
Good post SS and right on the money regarding the City Charter defined duties of the legislative side of Detroit Municipal Government. You've come a long way, me boy! ;)
btw: The at-large system was generated by the CORRUPTION that occurred during the "ward/district" era. The typical immigrant-wannabe king mentality; "Who stole the money?"
Post Number: 3856
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 10:20 am: || |
Sports analysis of the charter and the roles and responsibilities of the Council are accurate as others have noted. Others flapping their gums have missed the point entirely. IF folks would like to switch to a ward system, the benefit for the City would be what I outlined, not what others posting here seem to presume...To get to the changes folks are presuming would take a concurrent charter revision, stripping the executive branch of power. That is a very different animal and political action than simply drawing lines on a map and expecting things to be magically better.
Rasputin is correct that the ward system was abused...90 years ago....
In the intervening years that has been massive growth and disinvestment, massive social and technological change, massive overhaul and reform in municipal governance. Perhaps it is time to carefully review and adjust, if necessary, our governance system to reflect the reality of what has occurred in the last 90 years. While understanding why the at large system was put in place and guarding against corruption, there is nothing wrong with reviewing and openly discussing charter structures and whether the at current large system works best for the City or if there should be a blended system. 10 wards, 5 at large in a part time system with more active and larger committees? Who knows? It should be thoughtfully discussed and beware the rabid responses one way or the other. That is usually the sign of someone protecting their interest, not the City's.
I am not recommending one way or another.
I am merely pointing out that the current system leaves a lot to be desired on being able to meaningfully select from a mass of difficult to differentiate candidates.
Post Number: 789
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 10:50 am: || |
^I am recommending a ward / district type system.
The only people afraid to see this happen are people who will lose power or connections. There are plenty of good people out there without high name recognition.
A decent web site can be made pretty quick to promote it and ballot petitions can be printed easily. The only real hurdle is getting volunteers to get valid signatures and some money for expenses.
Post Number: 6894
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 11:01 am: || |
You just came out of hiding. Glad that you spill your black resurrection against the corrupt forces and the untouchables.
Post Number: 6895
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 11:07 am: || |
Detroit does not need a ward system. It's corrupt and people can play race cards within their districts.
Detroit today is 82% black, 9% white, 6% hispanic, 1% asian, 3% Arab Muslims and 2% East Indians.
A ward with 10 district would end up more black than white, hispanic asian, Arabs etc.. Let's stick with city council, that way there will be more ethnic representation with the people of color within their sub-divisions.
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 12:15 pm: || |
I support this idea 100%. I've tried to contact city council to file a complaint before, but I have no idea who to send it to! The website gives you a list of city council members and what are you supposed to do, close your eyes and pick one at random?
I have no idea who will be the most reliable person to contact -- does it matter what the concern is, or the region, or what? I don't know enough about each individual council member to know who's the most reliable, nor should I have to! I usually just send it straight up to Cockrel, but damned if I know whether he actually reads it.
Just bring on the petition! I've got my pen ready...
Post Number: 792
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 2:39 pm: || |
They have ZERO accountability, except to their donors.
Post Number: 11731
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 4:15 pm: || |
Again, while I have to agree that while a district or ward system would help simplify the voting process for your selection of candidates, you are losing your right to vote for the other 8 members. While selecting from 100+ can be mind boggling, I'd rather vote for all the city council members each election as opposed to losing my say.
I can see it now, if the city went to districts, people would be complaining about the other 8 council members selected by other districts, and would likely long for the old at large system.
Post Number: 1306
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 4:31 pm: || |
Conversely, you may end up with 8 people who don't give a damn about your part of town.
Say if they were all from Palmer Park... would they give a damn about 7 & Gratiot?
My State Representative represents me and I don't expect other representatives to also represent me or for me to be able to vote for them... but I do expect at least one to be accountable for my region.
Post Number: 99
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 4:36 pm: || |
"A ward with 10 district would end up more black than white, hispanic asian, Arabs etc..."
Is the council not like that now?
Post Number: 1693
|Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 4:58 pm: || |
Yes, the city is supposed to handle complaints, for sure. But your council members handle the city when they're not handling complaints, which, in most cases, it all the time, friends, all the time ...
Post Number: 804
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 12:26 am: || |
I truly believe the city council has detroit interests at heart. I also know they put up with a lot of crap and work a lot of hours and have to deal with so much crap about all sorts of irrelevant stuff that I personally would not want to deal with it.
But the fact remains is that in a city this large, someone who needs to get elected next has to be accountable to an area larger than most cities.
Same concept as the police districts.
Post Number: 1671
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 12:45 am: || |
Holy crap, Rasputin is back?!
Anyway, never lived in CoD, but have, and am now, living in Chicago. I know the aldermen can fight here, but I gotta say I really like this.
Sure they can't really do anything about certain things, but its really awesome to have your little part of the city being "watched out for" in the city government. Our Alderman will come and meet with people in the neighborhood, do walking tours, answer questions or concerns, etc. Living in the area helps too, because they also have an interest in ensuring the best for the community. Sure you won't get even close to everything you want, but its awesome to know that somebody is sticking up for you, and if they don't, they'll find themselves out of office come election time.
Might make it harder to get some things done (if different wards want different things), but I say I'll take it any day. At least somebody is listening, and it forces alderman to consider their ward's issues while balancing out the need to move forward and consider every other ward's issues. Plus at least EVERY alderman hears issues from another part of the city. Wouldn't surprise me if at-large folks only hear big stuff, and miss all the smaller stuff, and vote without ever hearing the other side of the story. That gets avoided. Add to it (at least in Chicago), that Da Mare is more or less the city-wide elected official, and I don't think you really need representatives at-large.
In Detroit, maybe you're neighborhood gets attention if one of the CC members lives on your block, otherwise, to them, why should they be concerned about any other area of the city? No accountability. If all of them come from the same street, where does that leave everyone else in the city? If they all love downtown and don't care about neighborhoods, where does that leave those people? If they don't have to get out and hear the people's concerns, how can they do anything about them?
If I were Detroit, I'd be all for it. And frankly, I think diversity in government is GREAT! Sure there will be hispanics, and whites, and blacks, and maybe even a few other minorities, but ya know, if that's who lives in the city and the voters choose those people to represent them, great. Everyone deserves to be represented. If hispanics in SW detroit feel they're being ignored, then they SHOULD have somebody on the council standing up for them. Doesn't need to be the same race, of course, but it just needs to be somebody who will be their voice, and be accountable when that voice isn't heard.
Absolute no-brainer here to me. I suspect that in the past the "giving up control" was the biggest issue. Hopefully today Detroit can look past it and do what's right for all residents AND the city itself, and not worry so much about "giving up" something. In the end, I'm positive you'll get way more back in return. Happier residents, a healthier city, and people with passion in government because they must represent the ward or find themselves out of a job.
Still can't believe Rasputin is back......
(Message edited by Jerome81 on December 20, 2007)
Post Number: 6900
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 10:08 am: || |
Having a Ward system in Detroit would be a corrupt race card explosion waiting to happen It would obstruct other small ethnic oasis communities around it.
The 10 city council district leaders are more black but less corrupt due to further support of other Detroit ethnic oasis communities. Having a ward system in Detroit means more power from district leaders by means of race and control over community resources. Detroit's small ethnic oasis communities would have less power and resources within their communities.
Chicago's Ward's system still remains more corrupt and segregated than Detroit. It hasn't been reformed since the city was founded in 1833. Its communities and its majority Alderman board leaders still have absolute power over its resources and the requests of the majority race of people. Race card have always been played in Chicago's politics designed to keep all the ethnic eggs in one ward basket. The only way change the Majority Alderman board leader is to have one group of majority race of people move out the let other group move in. Also in Chicago other small ethnic oasis communities like Hungarian Village in the West Side and new Chinatown in the near north side and other small upcoming new black enclaves in Chicago's Far North Side of New City district are getting a bum steer when their neighborhoods are not getting a full attention when its resources are not being taking care of. So Having a Ward system in Detroit will be WRONG. The city council and its late reformers from the Pingree Era got rid of it and this is Detroit and its people felt a whole lot better. Having a city council with the Committee of the Whole can promote ethnic diversity in Detroit without too much corruption.
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 11:04 am: || |
I fully respect your opinion on this issue and it seems like you have a very deep knowledge of it, especially its relationship with ethnicity. Nevertheless, I feel that, from a strictly micro, practical standpoint, the average citizen would benefit from having a specific council member to call his/her own. What Jerome81 described from his experience in Chicago sounds pretty good to me.
So what I'm wondering is, why not have a hybrid council that combines a ward system with a number of at-large members, as well? I know some other cities have this type of structure. Wouldn't that be a perfectly good compromise?
Post Number: 495
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 11:37 am: || |
Dear Hazen Pingree died in 1901 in London after going on an African safari with Teddy Roosevelt, the ward system was disbanded in 1917.
The last time the Chicago city charter was alterd was 1971.
Since, our dear city is 90+% afican american, I'm not too sure how the race card will be utilized, unless it is used in a similar fashion as it was used against Archer and Hendrix.
A ward system would be based on population density, not ethnicity. I believe the only exception would be in SW detroit where there is a concentration of hispanic citizens. But unless I'm mistaken, there is not a highly concentrated neighborhood of only white residents. I understand there are pockets of white residents all over the city, but nothing compares to the concentration of hispanics in SW detroit.
If the city has 900,000 residents than that would mean that each ward would be comprised of roughly 100,000 folks in each ward.
The much hoped for result of a more responsive city council just might be a pipe-dream as each council-member would have 100,000 folks calling them about their trash, lights, parks, and cops problems.
The bottom line, the current system allows for the well-heeled, well-known and well-funded to control the council.
Post Number: 1694
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 12:28 pm: || |
Why are we discussing race and not class? Representing 100,000 poor people would be a lot different than representing 100,000 middle-class and well-to-do people, no matter what the race...
Post Number: 496
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 1:19 pm: || |
Exactly, DN, I just don't see race - or ethnicity - being an issue.
The issue to me is how will a council person represent 100,000 folks. Currently each member State House of Representatives represent between 77,000 to 91,000 citizens.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M ichigan_House_of_Representativ es
Do we think that if we divided our 900K citizens into 9 wards, do we think Barabra Rose Collins will be able to handle 100,000 folks calling her office?
I'm all in favor of a Ward system, but I can see how the current Council would be opposed to the entire idea. It sounds like their constituent service time would increase by a factor of ten.
I believe each council member has an Office-holder budget of 1.4 million to hire aids, conduct research, etc. If field offices had to be established and staffed, that budget might need to be raised.
The Council Members and their staffs would have to walk the neighborhoods, attend countless PTA meetings, neighborhood watch meet-ups and all the rest. I think it would tire out our poor beleagured Council Members.
They'd never find the time to go to Hawaii on Pension Fund junkets, poor dears.
Post Number: 1696
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 1:51 pm: || |
Haha. Well, maybe that's the point. If 100,000 people call Barbara Rose Collins, maybe she'll take the hint and find some cozier sinecure.
Somehow Tobocman always manages to please his constituents. Why shouldn't ward-based council members be able to? If they can't at least their const's are likelier to give them a failing grade.
Rage on, o great debate!
Post Number: 276
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 1:55 pm: || |
I'm trying to figure out how being accountable to FEWER voters would result in MORE constituent service time.
Several posters above have pointed out the problems inherent in voting when you have 100 candidates to choose from. The fact of the matter is, that with our current system anyone with any sort of name recognition will almost automatically be elected. This is the primary reason that the current members are against the switch (they all, by virtue of their position, have relatively high name recognition). The other reason being that many of them live near one another and that would become an issue (you'd be unlikely to vote for someone who didn't live in your district).
Post Number: 663
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 2:20 pm: || |
if only to diversify the homelocations and races of our council, it would be a good thing. When I lived with my parents near Indian Village, it seemed that most of the city council lived within a mile or two of our house... That is a complete crock... Also, isn't it about time we had a hispanic council member?
Post Number: 813
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 11:07 pm: || |
Danny quote "Detroit does not need a ward system. It's corrupt and people can play race cards within their districts. "
Danny - "Having a Ward system in Detroit would be a corrupt race card explosion waiting to happen It would obstruct other small ethnic oasis communities around it."
I don't care what ethnicity they are.
A good leader is a good leader, why do you want to play the race card?
I want accountability to a local area by someone who cares.
As it stands now, there is NO accountability.
There are a bunch of people on the council who have an agenda that espouses their Sunset agenda.
Post Number: 1324
|Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 11:21 pm: || |
yes, because the very fact that the current members of CC have their seats means that the people they defeated were even worse!
I think name recognition would account for 90% of why we have the members we have
Post Number: 500
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 10:20 am: || |
This is a map ( although quite poor ) from the original FreePress editorial.
From the looks of the map the council members live in the following areas.
Indian Village: 1
Layfeyette Park: 1
Eastern Market: 1
Palmer Park: 3
Rosedale Park: 1
Post Number: 3430
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 11:01 am: || |
"Do we think that if we divided our 900K citizens into 9 wards, do we think Barabra Rose Collins will be able to handle 100,000 folks calling her office?"
Well, of course, under a ward system you'd want more councilmembers, like 13, 15, or 17 (always an odd number to avoid tie votes), so that each member represents a smaller slice of the population. Having 15 or 17 wards (remember, Chicago has 50!) might also help get people of varying ethnicities elected.
Post Number: 818
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 12:44 pm: || |
Sounds good. With districts the council members would have to live in the district they serve, just like the council wants people to live in detroit who work for the city.
However I would use the Cluster map the planning Dept. drew up just to make life simple.
Post Number: 1701
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 1:14 pm: || |
Personally, I'd like to see smaller wards. If you're a few blocks south of Tuxedo, your voice is likely to be drowned out by the DDA and the big players in the CBD, no?
Post Number: 8
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 2:19 pm: || |
Danny wrote - "The 10 city council district leaders are more black but less corrupt due to further support of other Detroit ethnic oasis communities. Having a ward system in Detroit means more power from district leaders by means of race and control over community resources. Detroit's small ethnic oasis communities would have less power and resources within their communities."
With all respect to your comment but to suggest that Detroiters should fear having additional whites or other ethnic minorities on council because of the possibility of further racial division is clearly “bass-ackwardness”.
I guess if you where to explain that concept to voters it would go something like this: "Attention ethnic and racial minorities of Detroit, please accept not having a representative of your ethnicity or race. For any demographic changes might evoke resentment amongst the black majority and further your political isolation. Instead, put your support behind black candidates, they’ll represent you and reward you with consideration for your loyalty.”
Sounds like don't go stir'in up trouble is the name of the game.
(Message edited by Det_on_nation_365 on December 21, 2007)
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 2:34 pm: || |
How can we continue to accept mediocrity as a standard? Sure they’ll always be cons to whatever system is in place but in council’s current structure the cost far out weigh the benefits. When change-over is necessary, it is nearly impossible to remove inefficient incumbents from office.
Prior to the last election, Alonzo Bates was indicted on federal charges of corruption, bank and mail fraud. Despite numerous accounts of him wasting tax payer money on “ghost employees” and other exploits, he still received over 55,000 (3.5% total) votes and had good chances of getting back on council. I know some will be quick to point out that he didn’t back into office but he clearly should have been ousted sooner.
Secondly, there are folks on council now that should but observed quite carefully. Let us not forget that Barbara Rose-Collins is the former congresswoman for the 13th district and while in office was investigated by the House Ethics Committee and Justice Dept for alleged abuses. Now I know that “alleged” does affirm wrong doing and she may very well be doing a great job on council. But it has to raise eyebrows when you consider that she lost a congressional seat in Detroit as an incumbent, a city where electorates are usually devotedly loyal to their officials.
The current system provides is a virtual safe haven for career Politian who desire to fly under the radar of scrutiny. We have to have a system in place where we can demand better.
And lastly, I absolutely hate Detroit-Chicago comparison but since it was mentioned, where is Chicago today in juxtaposition to Detroit? The Chicago metro has endured about as much sprawl and as metro Detroit and yet was able to turn around its legacy. Some of the most monstrous Chicago neighborhoods have made improvement.
I don’t consider Chicago a utopia but corruption and all, its city leaders were able to switch gears more efficiently than what leadership has been able to do here in Detroit.
Post Number: 2488
|Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 3:30 am: || |
I think people are tired of the at-large system and want someone specific to be accountable for what goes on in their specific neighborhood. Despite what some say here that answering to the public is not the council's main function and that that belongs to city department heads, people don't know the names of city department heads but they know the names of the majority of council members.
The council members are the ones that people feel that they know(through media mostly). I think the people, including myself, want to know what council members are doing about citizens' concerns. A ward system with some at-large candidates would help people feel like their concerns are being answered. I think the time has come to try the ward system again.
Post Number: 1085
|Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 3:40 am: || |
It would certainly be in the residents' best interest, but I wouldn't believe it until I saw it. And I don't think there are enough residents who care enough to make a push for it. Apathy is one of the things killing this place.
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 3:54 pm: || |
A return to the ward/district system for electing members to City Council would be great for Detroit. But before that could happen there would have to be major changes to the city charter or a brand new set of governance guidelines. As it is now Detroit has a strong mayor weak council system of government. The council’s biggest hammer over the executive branch is budget approval. The present charter expressly prohibits them from interfering with city departments and/or executive appointees. So just voting for a return to the district system without other changes would be pointless. There is an interesting story about why we went to an at-large system that I will tell in a letter posting.