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Daniel Howes: Detroit is on the mend, but it's still got a long way to go

Dec 10, 2015

Downtown Detroit
Credit flickr user Tim Wang / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes sees a city on the mend, but with some heavy lifting ahead.

“I’m very impressed with the execution of the government under Mike Duggan and the City Council,” Howes says. He adds that the demonstrated stability in the police department and the business community’s continued resolve to stand by its investment in Detroit bode well for the city.

Many Detroiters still harbor some frustration or animosity regarding the bankruptcy, but Howes thinks those folks are “whistling past the graveyard financially when it comes to the situation that Detroit was actually in.”

“This is a process. I think one of the things that people … got a false sense of promise, actually, that once we went through the bankruptcy that everything was going to be magically fixed. This city had been declining for more than 50 years. And certainly neighborhoods still have major issues with crime, they have issues with garbage pickup, they have issues with lighting, they have issues with blight,” he says.

According to Howes, two things will settle the anger and disappointment many Detroiters feel about the bankruptcy: results and time.

“I think it’s really that simple,” he says. “It’s a process; this is not something that happens overnight. It took a long time for Detroit to get there, and it’s going to take time for it to climb out.”

Daniel Howes tells us more about the state of Detroit in our conversation above.