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Bing frustrated with delay as Lansing waits on light authority

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says the pace of the city’s recovery is being slowed by delays in Lansing. The mayor says the Legislature is taking too long to create an independent authority to help Detroit and other cities keep their street lights on.

Detroit’s troubles keeping streets safe and lighted are well-documented. Mayor Bing says the lighting department is so dysfunctional the only solution is to outsource the responsibility. He is getting pushback from unions and some skeptical city residents and elected officials. Bing says most of the opposition can be summed up in a couple of words:

“Strictly politics.”

Bing says Detroit’s elected officials need to come together on plans to fix the city, and stop giving out-state lawmakers in the Legislature an excuse to hang back on helping Detroit.

“I’m very disappointed right now. We’ve had both June and July passed where they would at least have put it up for a vote," he said. “I think those of us in the city of Detroit have got to start to come together on a lot of the changes that are necessary, so that we stop fighting each other so that the people from outstate – where we need their help – see a concerted effort to do the things that are necessary to bring our city back.”

Bing says he hopes the Legislature will adopt the lighting authority measure when it meets next in September.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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