Mayor Duggan says Detroit needs wholesale change

Mayor calls for help in overhauling City Hall, also says he will seek to move residents to denser neighborhoods

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was pulling no punches Tuesday afternoon.

With a room full of metro Detroit business leaders he very frankly detailed what is an absolutely broken culture at Detroit City Hall.

"If your company has as one of its core skills the ability to tear apart a process, get the employees involved in redesigning it and measure the outcome, we need your help," said Duggan.

Whether it is the disaster that is re-ordering parts for city ambulances or the inefficiencies in how the city plows its roads, Duggan is putting out the call: Help us.

"They hand him a piece of paper and say to him, 'Drive up Vernor until you hit the Dearborn border, drive back and then we'll give you a new piece of paper,'" the mayor said about snow plow drivers.

Efficiency in every corner of city operations needs to be overhauled. If only 10 businesses with expertise in creating streamlined, efficient operations would take on a city project like how to make the city better respond to water main breaks, the difference would be immeasurable.

What Duggan detailed to the room of business leaders is nothing short of wholesale change in how Detroit runs.

Yet, he's going to tackle the density issue. How do you convince people, who have spent their lives in homes where they see the rest of the neighborhood become abandoned and desolate, to move? Duggan wants to approach it from a new vantage point.

"I want to go to those sparsely populated blocks where that lady is there and I want to say to her, 'You're welcome to stay as long as you want, but if you move we'll give you triple credit on your house, we'll appraise your house -- it's worth $10,000. If you move into one of our more dense neighborhoods, we'll give you $30,000 credit on any auction where you want to bid,'" said the mayor.

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