The Detroit News published today an op ed I wrote about what is needed to recreate vibrant central cities in Michigan –– particularly Detroit. The op ed can be found here.
Its basic theme: “The purpose of the exercise: It is not simply to reduce the deficit, but to ensure prosperity. Solvency is vital, but it is not enough.” From That Used To Be Us by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum.
As we enter the age of financial managers for Michigan’s major cities we need to follow the advice of Friedman and Mandelbaum. Balancing city budgets, certainly necessary, is not enough. The end game should be cities that are attractive places to live, work and play. That individuals and enterprises want to call home. And that requires adequate financing and the ability to provide basic services and amenities. Simply balancing budgets is not enough.
Getting this right matters most in Detroit. As we explored previously not just for the city but also for the region and state. If Detroit does not become a talent magnet its hard to imagine how either the region or state are prosperous in the long term.