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‘Big Four’ Leaders Bing, Patterson, Ficano And Hackel Tackle Hot Topics

Got a question for the 'Big Four?'
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The Big 4 the Detroit Economic Club meeting held at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday, January, 17, 2011. (Photo by Jeff Kowalsky, Detroit Economic Club)

The Big 4 the Detroit Economic Club meeting held at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday, January, 17, 2011. (Photo by Jeff Kowalsky, Detroit Economic Club)

(credit: WWJ-TV) Carol Cain
An Emmy Award winning journalist, Carol Cain is also the se...
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By Carol Cain
CBS 62

What’s on your mind: Detroit’s fiscal situation? Regional transportation? Wayne County’s legal issues? Macomb and Oakland County’s economic plans?  Email your question to michiganmatters@wwjtv.com and it just might be asked when the “Big Four” political leaders – who set the tone for the region  — take to the stage at the Detroit Economic Club luncheon Thurs, Jan. 17 during the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center.

No doubt there will be  talk about those issues and more when Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano  take to the stage.

Much has transpired since last January’s “Big Four” event which is held along with the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and CBS 62. I will moderate what will be a spirited conversation that will  air as a  “Michigan Matters” special 11:30 a.m. Sunday Jan. 20.

The four leaders will answer questions from the DEC audience as well as myself.

Bing faced serious health issues and was hospitalized with a gastric ailment. The NBA All-Star has put back the weight he lost and feeling better.

His city’s fiscal health is another issue.  It will loom large at the DEC event as the state continues to work with the mayor’s office and city council in trying to resolve the woes with the prospect of  an Emergency Financial Manager looming.

Bing has also seen some wonderful moments thanks to Dan Gilbert and Mike and Marian Ilitch who continue onward with their Motor City investments.

Patterson nearly died in an auto accident as the car he was a passenger in was hit by another. He is fighting through grueling rehab and determined to walk unassisted.

Blessed with a seasoned team of lieutenants, Patterson and his crew  continue to gain national accolades – including an invite this summer from the White House  to talk about its cutting edge technology efforts.

Wayne County is in rebuild mode amid federal investigations into matters  involving some previous lieutenants of Ficano’s.

Ficano has a veteran leadership team and has said he is cooperating with authorities and looking to the future,

With the DEC luncheon held at the auto show,  all will have something to say about the industry’s impact.

No doubt there will be strong opinions expressed about the controversial Right-To-Work legislation taking effect in several weeks, the upcoming mayor’s race in Detroit and the governor’s race also a year away.

(For Detroit Economic Club “Big Four” tickets call 313-963-8547 or econclub.org)

(Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer and Host of CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters.” You can read her columns on politics and business in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at clcain@cbs.com).

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