Detroit Mayor-Elect Duggan Optimistic About Comeback

Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 01:04 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Detroit Mayor-Elect Mike Duggan says he's optimistic about the city's future as he prepares to take office in January.

"We've got to fix some city services in a hurry. We need to reduce the police response time. We need to get streetlights on. And we've got to get abandoned buildings dealt with and not just demolished," the Democrat said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I'm feeling optimistic," he added.

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In July, Detroit became the largest city in the country to declare bankruptcy. With nearly $18 billion in debt, the city was unable to provide basic services, such as adequate police protection and operational streetlights.

But, Duggan predicted, Detroit soon would begin recovering when home values rise in neighborhoods where dilapidated and abandoned buildings are being removed.

"With the efforts of the Blight Authority, when we start to clear out the dilapidated and burned-out houses, I think you're going to see these neighborhoods coming back relatively quickly," he said.

One effort assisting Detroit is the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Detroit is the 17th city to participate in the program that teaches skills and provides mentorship, structure, and capital for businesses.

"We work with people who have been successful on a small scale, and enable them to enlarge their businesses," billionaire investor Warren Buffett, co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, told the "Morning Joe" panel.

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Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder echoed Duggan's comments about Detroit's future, calling it a "thriving place" where "many great things are going on."

"The good part is that there's a lot of economic comeback already going on in Detroit. It's very exciting, from an investment point of view, in terms of creating jobs," said Snyder, who was also on the program. "In many respects, the image of Detroit is different from the reality."

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