By Ed Deeb
November 20, 2008
After months of speculation and wondering what would happen in Detroit, the city now has a new mayor following the resignation of Kwame Kilpatrick. Welcome, Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr.
Cockrel, who was president of the Detroit City Council and heir apparent to be mayor following Kilpatrick’s resignation, will have a lot on his plate in the first few months of his administration.
During his inaugural remarks, Cockrel indicated he wanted to reach out to all people both in and outside of Detroit. He wanted a better environment to attract new business to the city, as well as gain the confidence of people who reside in Detroit and its surroundings.
He also acknowledged the need to recognize the interests of the city and fulfill the obligations already made.
He recognized that smaller businesses wanted an “even playing field” with the larger businesses so they have a chance to survive.
Two of Cockrel’s most important subjects will be to deal with finances of the city and put its financial house in order. He also needs to do what he can to improve the city’s educational system, helping to assure that students get a better education as well as trying to keep them here after they finish college.
During his years as president of the City Council, Cockrel appeared to be the go-to guy between the mayor and the Council. Based on his actions, he played the role of peacemaker most of the time. And he was good at it.
We wish him well in his new job. He should also look over his shoulder since there are others who would also like to be Mayor of Detroit. They include businessman Dave Bing, Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans, former Deputy Mayor Freman Hendrix, former Councilman Nicholas Hood III, former Kilpatrick general counsel Sharon McPhail, and even State Rep. Coleman A. Young II.