Residents reflect on Detroit’s consent agreementPost a Comment
By PAVAN VANGIPURAM
Special to The Oakland Press
Notes of optimism prevailed as Oakland County residents reflected on the Detroit City Council’s recent decision to accept Gov. Snyder’s consent agreement and cede some power to a nine-member financial advisory board.
Megan Jones of Birmingham was “thrilled” at the city council’s decision, and said the time was ripe for the city to confront its problems.
“I don’t think it’s partisan at all,” she said. “I think it’s a group of people willing to put their differences aside and move on.”
Jones said she thought the consent agreement would reap benefits for Oakland County as well as Detroit.
“We’re neighbors of Detroit,” she said. “I imagine it will also be a positive thing for Oakland.”
Thane Namy of Rochester Hills is an executive at Clear Rate Communications. He, too, praised the Detroit City Council’s decision and said it was obvious Detroit was in need of assistance.
“It was overdue,” he said of the city council’s cession of power.
Sam Namy, also of Clear Rate Communications, said the consent agreement would have the benefit of shifting Detroit’s tax base to be more investment-friendly. He said he only saw benefits to the council’s decision.
Howard Ellman of Bloomfield Hills, an architect, said he thought the consent agreement, if handled properly, could yield “unbelievable investment opportunities” in Detroit.
Ellman said he was glad the agreement helped Detroit avoid bankruptcy, and that he looked forward to a time when the city’s finances come into order.
“What happens in Detroit affects Oakland County,” he said. “We might not want to think it does, but it does.”
Katie Simmons of Rochester Hills didn’t like the idea of the Detroit City Council giving power to an appointed committee but wasn’t sure what the alternatives were.
“If finances had been handled better, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” she said. “The city should take responsibility for the problems they created.”
Pontiac Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel said the consent agreement was “probably the right thing to do at the moment.”
“It gives Detroit what they wanted: an opportunity on their own to deal with the problem,” he said.