DETROIT (WWJ) – Speaking both of progress and remaining challenges, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan struck an optimistic tone Tuesday night in his third State of the City Address, sharing his own ‘5-point’ plan to grow the city’s economic comeback.
“We have to get the violent crime down, right? We’ve got to remove the blight. We’ve got to add jobs and businesses so everyone in Detroit has an opportunity and we’ve got to cut the car insurance rates and we’ve got to provide quality schools,” said Duggan.
Speaking to hundreds inside Second Ebenezer Church on the city’s east side — the Mayor said the city continues to dramatically improve police and EMS response times — but considerable challenges remain. Among them, regaining local control of Detroit’s public and charter schools — and addressing a nearly $500 million budget shortfall in the city’s employee pension fund.
During the speech, which was interrupted no less than three times by hecklers, Duggan touted the positive attention Detroit is receiving while acknowledging that “there are sections of the city that are not feeling the recovery yet.”
Duggan said his office will present its third straight balanced budget to the City Council this week, but also says the city will begin working on a potential $491 million pension fund deficit that’s due in 2024.
Duggan said the city is “going to get on top of it now.”
He has been mayor since the start of 2014.