Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit seems to have had enough of being at the center of a firestorm that he did not create and is not being given the authority to put out. Just weeks after emergency manager Kevyn Orr took over the reigns of the city, Mayor Bing is bowing out, announcing he will not run for reelection.
Orr was appointed by Republican Governor Rick Snyder to get the city’s financial house in order, but the decision has left Bing without power and the city of Detroit without elected leadership.
As it stands, 50 percent of Africa-Americans in Michigan live in cities where their elected officials have been replaced with state appointed managers. Many officials are frustrated with what they view as a usurpation of power.
“I still think I can have a positive impact in the city, but I also accept the fact that I don’t have the authority to make final decisions,” Bing said. “So I’m sure there are going to be some decisions made that I don’t agree with, and I don’t want to be linked to that. I’ve always been pretty independent, yet I’m a team player. But if it’s something I can’t buy into, I won’t just go along to get along.”
Bing was elected on the promise of bringing trusted stewardship back to the city after Kwame Kilpatrick’s beleaguered tenure as mayor. The 69 year old businessman and former NBA star says he is still committed to helping the city after he’s gone.
“My devotion to Detroit and Detroiters is unwavering,” Bing told an audience at the Charles H. Wright Museum, where he announced his decision. “I love the compassion, tenacity and commitment of Detroiters, and that’s why I’ve stayed here, and that is why I ran for mayor, to right the things that are wrong and to change conditions and the conversation about our city.”