Detroit Continues to Retrench

closed detroit library

That Detroit is a troubled city surprised no one that is aware of news in the United States.

Having proudly hailed from that gritty an resilient locale, which locals now refer to as “the 313”, I am both fascinated by the city’s plight as a microcosm of failed public policy and saddened that such a symbol of American economic pre-eminence is in such a state.  Consequently, I attempt to stay abreast of Motor City events.

Today’s Detroit News reported that the city is contemplating closing six libraries as part of the retrenchment of a city that features one of the largest land masses of any city in the country that is experiencing an alarming population loss.  This is not a new trend in Detroit as the city has been haphazardly retrenching for several decades.  The current mayor, former basketball great and sucessful businessman Dave Bing, has been working hard to reverse that chaotic and reactive tradition known as Detroit City Government.  It is our hope that the city is more effective in planning these library closures than it has been in the past, the following photo illustrating the folly of past closures:

Closed Library Main Room

Shuttered Detroit Library Abandoned

As should be abundantly clear is that the closing of the libraries were the end in themselves, not any sort of Government preservation of their value.  The grand tradition of retrenchment in Detroit has been one of abandonment, and that abdication of stewardship has not only been symbolic of the city’s decline but has been its leadership principle for decades.  Leaving behind scores, literally thousands, of books that could be used by other branches in a library system deprived of resources is not only tantamount to criminal abandonment of their fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers it is a kick in the ribs for a city struggling to educate its students despite having one of the highest per student expenditures on education in the country.

dtw library abandoned

Complete Abdication of Responsiblity in Past Library Closures

Lest anyone think this leadership in abandonment is only restricted to the Library system, Detroit Public Schools have also practiced the art in fine form:

detroit supply depot abaondoned

Abandoned DPS Supply Depot - Supplies Simply Left Behind

While we applaud Mr. Bing in his efforts to bring structure and forethought to the continued retrenchment of the city, it is our sincere hope, for the children of Detroit and taxpayers, that such retrenchment being contemplated in the library system and elsewhere will be done with grace and preservation of hard earned assets that can be used throughout an increasingly impoverished city.

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