Skip to comments.Detroit's new czar faces deep decay of city's neighborhoods
Posted on 03/24/2013 9:59:10 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
When the state-imposed manager of Detroit, Kevyn Orr, starts the job on Monday he will wade into a city of crumbling neighborhoods where police fail to respond to some calls, arson fires burn out of control and residents scour charred buildings for scrap metal to sell.
Except for the business district and a cultural area including a university, museum and some theaters, the city of Detroit, population 700,000, is in bad shape.
Orr, a Washington, D.C.-based bankruptcy lawyer, will have the official title of "Emergency Financial Manager." But his remit as an unelected administrator will range far beyond money.
His top priority on Day 1 will be improving public safety.
"We have to gain the public's trust, and to do that, we have to show progress with fire and police services," Orr told Reuters in an interview last week.
This could be what one former Detroit police chief called a "Herculean task" for Orr, recruited by Michigan's Republican Governor Rick Snyder to fix Detroit because of his "very successful career in restructuring and bankruptcy."
Orr's most notable career achievement to date was as a top lawyer in the restructuring of Detroit-area carmaker Chrysler.
Orr said he thinks the stories of Detroit's demise "are over-rated in my opinion." "The city center is a lot better than people thought," he said, and he hopes he can push that recovery momentum out to the neighborhoods.
As he travels a sprawling city larger than Boston, San Francisco and Manhattan combined, he will encounter the realities of Detroit's long downward slide.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
for your list
That’s not true, but if that’s how you feel about it . . . .
Who until last week had property leins on his property for non-payment of property taxes...
Unbelievable!! Birds of a feather??
It might just be too late for Detroit, no matter who takes charge.
I wish the guy luck. Detroit was home to many folks on my dad’s side.
They worked for Ford, on the line and in the office, when times were good.
Wow, talk about a thankless task. The corruptocrats have let Detroit run into the ground and they do not want anyone to find out where they’ve stashed the loot that they’ve pilfered. That’s why jesse jackson is coming to lead the inevitable protests - all that loot was pilfered by black politicians. As we all know, jesse and his family are as pure as the driven snow... Oh my bad! That’s racist!
Here’s hoping Mr. Orr has a first rate security detail, especially when he starts rooting out the political grafters.
Decay? What decay? many parts of detroit are just dead? when a deer is just bones is it in decay or just plain gone?
What part of dead do not they understand? the suburbs of detroit is where life is at? Just like many large cities the city itself is dead.
How much money is going to be dumped into saving detroit?
In the little city I live in the UP of MI - $1.5 million dollars is being spent in just one building that has been empty for over 34 years. The rest of the city has problems but the infinite wisdom of the city administration spend on 1 building. Dumb Dumb.
So - who will WE call when & if he's ever out of office?
Yeah there is big private money flowing into the downtown area. If the GOP can spare a couple of brain cells, they might consider talking about the possibility of a Detroit convention again. (Its where Reagan gave his nomination acceptance speech)
Where others are typically retreating, I see a great opportunity for conservatives and the GOP.
Interesting chart. Thanks.
Its from the Bureau of transportation statistics.
Although, two or three seconds with fat stupid Ashley would set ME off!
Steven Crowder visits Detroit.
What are the property taxes like in Detroit? How about the gun control laws?
Even when Michigan was not a CCW State, everyone had a gun in their car.
Even more amazing is the fact that one-third of the freight crossing from just those 20 listed on your chart occurs at crossings on the Texas/Mexico border.
No wonder the politicians don’t want to shut our border with Mexico down. NAFTA is quite alive and doing well for Mexico.
The liens against Orr filed by the State of Maryland are for unpaid
unemployment comp payments related to his live in help - nanny problem.
He says he forgot - four years in a row.
But it’s ok - Orr be a bro. He’ll fit right in. Good work if you can get it.
I don’t have high hopes for Detroit’s future. Their situation is not unique, but is scale and the velocity of its decline have made it prominent in the news.
I grew up near Birmingham, Al - and they are going through the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history right now. So I’ve seen how it happens - and I can see it happening in Detroit right now. Admittedly, I haven’t been there in a while; but, you can ‘go’ there with Google Maps - and you can see large areas of vacant lots. Go to the street viewer, and you might see a nice house - but it is surrounded by vacant lots, piles of trash, boarded up houses, or half burned houses. A recent story was about failure to pay property taxes. The reason people don’t even bother to pay taxes is rooted in the extreme lack of value for real estate in the city. Thatis a huge problem.
I work in land development, and I have brainstormed with city leaders before, about how to get new home construction in the existing city limits. The major obastacle - value. In some inner city areas, I could get a lot for FREE, build a house on it, and never be able to sell it. This is because the cost of lumber, sheetrock, etc for a house exceeds the going rate for property in the area. So, you’re stuck - unless you use incentives like TIF districts, people aren’t going to build new houses. And, they aren’t going to invest heavily in maintaining existing housing.
We’ve mailed out surveys and taken polls. The major obstacles to property value in decayed cities (which likely apply to Detroit) are crime, infrastructure, and schools.
Crime - its not necessarily the big stuff. It just wears people down when they have flower pots stolen off their porch, they find needles in their front yard, and somebody steals the copper out of their ac unit.
Infrastructure - Again its not the big stuff you see on the nightly news, like ‘crumbling bridges’. Instead, its the alley that is hardly driveable behind the house, the water red with rust, or the street signs covered in spray paint. It just wears people down.
Schools - The most important one. Its like night and day, the varying level of school quality. And it doesn’t matter if your kids are grown or if you homeschool, your property value is hopelessly tied to school performance.
I should have added another category - options. Some areas, like the boroughs of New York, will never become detroit. Physical geography and commute time prevent ‘flight’ from the inner city. Sooner or later, areas in the cramped northeastern cities ‘come back’. Not even the worst areas of Philadelphia have widespread vacant lots like Detroit. But people in Detroit have options. I imagine pulling up stakes and leaving Detroit, to go to an adjacent city, doesn’t increase commute time by more than 15 minutes. There are alot of nice areas around Detroit...these are the people who found a different option. And, I’d imagine that all the stats about Detroit’s declining population are countered by large population growth in adjoining areas.
This is happening all over the mid-west, where land is plentiful. Like I said, its happened in Birmingham - and there are some geographic barriers there (Birmingham is at the tail of the Appalachain Mountains). My relatives who still live there now put up with hour long traffic jams every morning...and would likely be willing to put up with more.
I have no idea what the solution is....well, I have a few ideas but certainly no magic bullet. But trust me, Detroit’s decline is very real, and based on how other smaller cities have dealt with it, it can certainly get worse. I understand the commercial downtown is doing well - but there is a giant boat anchor, which is the rest of the city, holding it down.
I’m asking these questions that asks a larger question.
What will it take to make Detroit an economically viable city once again?
What will it take to attract people back?
Liberal gun laws? Low property taxes? Reducing city government to a limited and lean amount?
The freestaters could use this as a test case.
I’d look to comment #30, which is well on the mark.
>> Liberal gun laws?
“And it doesnt matter if your kids are grown or if you homeschool, your property value is hopelessly tied to school performance.”
That’s the biggest myth around. I remember reading in the news about 10 or 15 years ago about a kid who got a 1600 on his SAT while he was living in a car with his mother. The scholarship offers came rolling in right after that.
How was that possible from a homeless child? His mother pushed him to study and pursue his education.
What you see in Detroit is a failure of the home.
I’m using “liberal” as in “lenient” or “generous.”
My nephew bought a Detroit home for $1,500. His taxes are $5,000.
“Thats the biggest myth around.”
Trust me on this. You are wrong.
For sixteen years now, I have made my living in land development. Although we had rapid development and housing construction sustained for eleven of those years, the annual population growth in the area was 1.5%.
So why all the new houses? Its no big secret - people are fleeing from the bad school district. This is a very common phenomenon.
I don’t think you understood my statement. It doesn’t matter if a homeless woman can homeschool her kid in the truck of a car. It doesn’t matter if you yourself don’t have kids. It doesn’t matter if you do have kids and they thrivce in a bad school.
The value of your home is tied to what a buyer will pay for it. And, the number one driver in that valuation is schools. Period.
Detroit is already an open carry city. The real problems are social.
Downtown and Wayne State aren't the big problem. The problem is the thought process that a 'vibrant downtown' will save the city. Schools, jobs, crime, costs, and property values are the keys to a city/community.
Twice as high as Grosse Pointe. 62 mills.
Detroit’s purpose is to be an example to the rest of the nation - if a city’s looking for the ‘free lunch’ or the ‘easy way’ they’ll become a hellhole like Detroit.
It’s waaaaaay too early to go in to help this 3rd world type disaster. They need to try a few more liberal ideas first...
Mr Orr is in a lose, lose situation.
That’s like the lie told by Leftists, “Poverty causes crime.” If that’s true Americans back in the Depression Era should have caused a bloodbath of ridiculous proportions.
There is home schooling plus parochial schools, private schools, charter schools and then public schools.
Is it just the lack money that makes people flee or the lack of social capital within families?
I don’t know how else to tell you - bad schools poison property values. Its not a new theory, and its commonly accepted as obvious.
You think its a myth. Fine, I’m not going to convince you otherwise. BTW - could I interest you in a real estate opportunity :).
But I’m going to stick to my ‘myth’. Its paid my bills for 16 years designing new subdivisions; and, even in a recession, people are still trying to escape our bad school district (cha-ching!). Its possible the people fleeing the city just didn’t like the street names I guess...except when we mailed them surveys they listed bad schools as the number one reason for moving out. Hard one to call, but I’m going with the bad schools myth.
But where do bad schools come from exactly?
What causes property values to decline?
“What causes property values to decline?”
From my first post:
3. Bad Schools
and the ‘option’ to move away.
“But where do bad schools come from exactly?”
Bad people, of course.
Bad teacher unions, bad administrators, bad funding schemes that kickback money to politicians. And of course bad parents who are absentee and don’t domesticate their children.
But, SO WHAT. It doesn’t change the facts that the schools, right now, are BAD. (And, quite frankly, the people left are the ‘bad’ ones. Good teachers, administrators, and parents will have gotten the heck out of there by now).
By looking for causes, you are really looking for solutions. I stated right out of the gate that I didn’t have any solutions. My treatise is purely on why I think Detroit will continue to decline. And it will, partially because of bad schools. No mythology there.
I knew what you meant, but just a comment on statistical usage.