Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kwame's week (why wouldn't the trash get picked up?)

A most interesting week in Detroit as the mayor was in court
seemingly all week long, getting tossed in the clink and then
released just in time to be charged with yet another crime, felony
assault on a police officer.
Remarkable, something I thought I'd never see.
It's a beautiful time to be alive, or at least working in the Detroit
Sinking auto industry (or perhaps just sunk), a national recession
(maybe, but it sure feels like it), a black hole of a state economy,
an entire housing economy falling off the cliff (I'm feeling that),
the end of a nasty yet historic Democratic primary season, two wars,
global warming -- the bad news sure is adding up fast.
But unlike countless other elected leaders, Kwame Kilpatrick is
sticking with his job.
Funny how he complained to the judge about the revolutionary
transformation of his life due to the charges he faces and the
increased media scrutiny, yet he will not step aside. He's making the
case for why he needs to resign -- he cannot lead the city because he
is so distracted by this scandal, or is scandals by now. I think the
many have just emerged as a single giant SCANDAL.
Most remarkable this week was that the newly elevated deputy mayor
stated in the press conference as Kilpatrick was being locked away
for a night that the city's business would continue. The trash will
be picked up. (This came after the first words out of his mouth
stated that Kilpatrick was quitting, at least addressing the question
on everyone's minds.)
What kind of leadership exists down there? (No need to answer, please.)
In most organizations, when the top dog is off -- at home at night,
on vacation, on a work trip, in jail -- the work still gets done. The
trash gets picked up when the mayor is out of town. (I hope, who
knows, maybe not.)
But if that is a concern when the mayor was jailed, then Detroit has
bigger problems than anyone realizes.
Leadership is an example set from the top, not pushing the buttons of
day-to-day functions. If the trash has to be picked up upon express
orders of the mayor on a daily basis, then that is not leadership but
interference, and likely of a political nature.


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