Is a City Still a City If It Can't Serve Its Residents?

Police response times average 58 minutes for worst crimes and at times only 10 of the city's 36 ambulances are in service: Detroit's woes extend far beyond its unpaid debts. Many residents are hoping emergency management will bring drastic change.

"As officials negotiate urgently with creditors and unions in a last-ditch effort to spare Detroit from plunging into the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history, residents say the city has worse problems than its estimated $18 billion debt," writes Monica Davey. 

“'The city is past being a city now; it’s gone,' said Kendrick Benguche, whose family lives on a block with a single streetlight, just down from a vacant firehouse that sits beside a burned-out home."

While some residents fret about the impacts of a possible bankruptcy filing, others are ready for drastic change. 

“'For a lot of people, I think city government has become a nonentity here,' said Kurt Metzger, the director of Data Driven Detroit, which tracks demographic, economic and housing trends in the region. 'People almost feel like the city goes on in spite of city government — that city government in this case certainly doesn’t define the city — and that affects how they’re feeling about what comes next.'”

Full Story: Financial Crisis Just a Symptom of Detroit’s Woes


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