In a national interview with CNN Thursday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing claimed to have the second hardest job in the United States.
“I know the reason that I took this position is to make the hard decisions so that the city would have a future but it’s probably the second most difficult job in this country behind the president,” Bing said in the brief interview video on CNN.
What’s the hardest part of being Mayor of the financially beleaguered City of Detroit? Unreasonable expectations.
“I believe people feel the mayor in a particular city can solve all of the problems and that’s not true,” Bing said.
“That’s probably the most difficult thing I had to deal with, just managing expectations.”
Bing said Detroit workers have to realize that jobs are not a given. What once was the place people flocked to for a guaranteed job, is now a grossly under populated city with a meager tax base paying into the same big-city bills of more prosperous times. With a population that has drastically shrunk over the past few decades, Detroiters have to realize that things are not what they used to be, and that city government must reflect that, he said.
“We are in an environment, I think, of entitlement,” Bing said. “We’ve got a lot of people who are city workers who for years and years, 20, 30 years, think they’re entitled to a job and all that comes with it.”
In order to move the city out of its current debt crisis, “we are going to have to take a step of two backwards,” Bing said adding that everyone will have to make sacrifices together to secure a better future.
Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday dropped Detroit’s long-term bond rating one notch deeper into junk status from B3 to Caa1 amid speculation that the city is moving closer to bankruptcy.
Last week the city did not receive $10 million in bond funds the State is withholding due to failure to meet key benchmarks as part of an agreement. The City risks losing out on another $20 million in state funds if those benchmarks are not met in two weeks.
On Thursday Bing released a statement declaring that the city was not considering bankruptcy. Last Wednesday at a press conference both Bing and the City’s Chef Financial Officer Jack Martin agreed that bankruptcy was not an option.
“The City of Detroit will not be filing for bankruptcy,” Bing said in a statement Thursday. “The City of Detroit fully intends to correct its situation, and we believe we are making progress in doing so.”
Still, the city will never be the booming City it was in the past according to Bing.
“I don’t know that we’re going to be the same blue-collar town that we were, that we were known for,” Bing said in his interview with CNN. “Ten years from now if you were to come to Detroit what you would see … is a completely renovated riverfront. I think our Downtown will be very strong. I think midtown will be very strong.”
As for the neighborhoods, Bing hopes in ten years people will have moved out of the sparely populated areas in the city to form tighter-knit communities.
“We’re gonna to try to convince those people to move so there’s density in all of our neighborhoods so that we can really look out for each other so that we can protect each other so that we can bring people and families back together again like it used to be,” he said.
Click here to watch Mayor Dave Bing talk with CNN