Wednesday, February 02, 2005

"Shrinking, Detroit Faces Fiscal Nightmare" By JODI WILGOREN

~ ~ Below is an article on Detroit’s ongoing & dramatic population loss – a flight of the wealthier & better educated. It serves to remind us that societies , cites , and even nations – can over the long term, be very transient entities. ~~TP

"The 139-square-mile Motor City now has a population of 911,000, less than half its 1950's peak”
DETROIT, Jan. 29 - In the decade after he finished law school, Dan Varner watched with mounting exasperation as his black, middle-class peers defected from Detroit, beloved city of his birth.

He was the relentless city booster telling college-bound teenagers to come home after graduation, the one urging far-flung friends to move here, the man always talking about rebuilding the city while others abandoned it.

Then, one day, Mr. Varner said he realized "there was really no one to have dinner with." He said he "could count on one hand in the four blocks around me the number of men my age who had families." Enough became enough one spring day when he drove his children home past a band of teenage boys chanting profanity.

"As a dad and a husband, you have an obligation to try to provide the best life possible," said Mr. Varner, 35, who in August moved his family to Ypsilanti Township, 45 minutes away. "That was just something we couldn't find in Detroit."

The Varners are emblematic of the exodus that is plunging Detroit's government and school system into a fiscal nightmare, resulting in not just the slashing of staff and services, but also, for the first time, a fundamental right-sizing for a new, shrunken reality. The 139-square-mile Motor City now has a population of 911,000, less than half its 1950's peak.

With the city facing a $389 million shortfall over three years and the threat of receivership, Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced this month that Detroit would soon lay off 686 people and eliminate 237 vacant jobs, cut employees' pay 10 percent across the board, end overnight bus service and close the aquarium.
~~ But you got to pay the New York Times $2.95 to read the whole thing .
Unless you get Lexus-nexius for free at the school library or office ~` TP ]