Detroit Leaders Are Late Coming to the Table

In her Detroit Free Press column, Rochelle Riley raps the hands of leaders for waiting until a crisis to begin talks to repair the city's struggling finances.

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Detroit Mayor Dave Bing at the White House Forum on Jobs (Getty Images)

Rochelle Riley writes in her Detroit Free Press column that it took a crisis for Detroit's legislative and executive branches to stop squabbling. City leaders came together after Gov. Rick Snyder announced plans to conduct a 30-day review of the city's finances.

Flanked by most of the Detroit City Council, reps from the top unions and prominent clergy and businesspeople, the mayor stood before flashing cameras Thursday and declared his opposition to what he said was a decision by Gov. Rick Snyder to do a 30-day review of the city's finances.

"This is our city," Bing said to applause and a few cheers. "We are Detroit. Detroit needs to be run by Detroiters."

The moment came a day after the governor phoned the mayor to say the state was going to step in.

It came a week after Bing declared war on the council and unions and took personal potshots at some council members.

But here's the question: Why does it always take a crisis?

It took a riot for the region to face the facts of its racial tensions and decades of discrimination.

It took former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for a charter commission to write strong ethics rules into the city's governance.

Read Rochelle Riley's entire column at the Detroit Free Press.

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