Duggan sets agenda in third annual State of the City address

- Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his third State of the City address on Tuesday evening, touting achievements and laying out an agend for the upcoming year.

He said the way to succeed is working together.

"You would see the mayor and the council bitterly fighting as the city spiralled into bankruptcy," he said during his address, referring to the previous state of the city. "What you are seeing today is very different. You see a mayor and a council working in partnership to rebuild the city."

The mayor highlgihted what's going right in the city from his view -- 4,000 homes torn down, which is 3,00 more than all of Ohio. As for the homes still standing, mroe than 60 neighborhoods have grown in sales price. He also talked about what he claims will go right this year.

"We're going to find a way to recognize your contribution and start to improve your pay for all of our firefighters and EMTs," Duggan said.

He said now is the time to act on problems for the future: "The cloud that's looming is that the latest report shows we have a $491 million deficient in a pension fund, which starts to come due in 2024."

The mayor said all officers will start wearing body cameras this year to restore trust with the community. But Duggan said the key lies with getting people to move back and that means taking care of the school systems that ranks last in the country in achievement and preventing it from falling into financial ruin.

"I will be up in Lansing pushing every single day to have the public schools back in the hands of elected school board," he said. "I also do believe there is a role for a mayor in what I call the Detroit Education Commission, because right now, what's happening in this city is schools open and clsoe with no pattern."

State Sen. Geoff Hansen (R-Hart) said his package of pills could bring changes early as next month.

"People of Detroit have to control their own destiny," he said. "We have to make sure that they are the ones who make the decisions. If they buy in, there's nothing they can't do."

Duggan urged everyone in attendance and people watching at home to call their local lawmakers and tell them how they feel about the emergency manager, particularly when it comes to the DPS system. He said no matter where you stand on the issue, your voice should be heard.

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