DETROIT (WWJ) – We want a recount. Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh echos the call from mayor Dave Bing over what he feels is a too-low Census count of 713,000 people.
“The momentum needs to be that Detroit needs to fight to make sure that we have as many people counted as possible,” Pugh said. “To not challenge this would be irresponsible. We represent the people of the City of Detroit.”
Speaking live on WWJ, Pugh said regardless of what the final tally is, it is time to accept the fact that Detroit is no longer a “big city.”
“You know, when you grow up here, you think of yourself as a big city. So, when you see the Census numbers and you see the reality of how far you’ve fallen in terms of population loss, then we need to wrap our minds around the fact that we are a medium-sized city now. And that should be how we proceed in terms of level of employees, in terms of how we redesign the city, what businesses we attract, and that kind of thing,” Pugh said.
Pugh also said he feels very strongly for ideas that consolidate neighborhoods and turn other areas into parks or similar amenities.
“I’m on board with not only the idea that we need to live and create density in certain areas of the city, that it will make things much more efficient in terms of how we deliver city services and certainly police,” Pugh said.
Pugh thinks Detroit can consolidate by joining forces with other cities too.
“We all have to purchase tires, we all have to purchase cars, we all have to purchase paper products that we use to run our cities. We need to start, and now, the governor has given us certainly a negative incentive, or depending on who you talk to, a positive incentive, in order to do that,” Pugh said.
Pugh said he is on board with a “smaller is better” concept for the future of Detroit.