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Letters: Where Detroit went wrong

March 09, 2013

Re "Motor City blues," Opinion, March 5

Scott Martelle is wrong when he says the "problem in Detroit is not the people in charge." In fact, that is exactly the problem.

As one who was born, went to college and then worked in Detroit, I can tell you the city's key problem is not jobs, the auto industry, crime or "white flight." Rather, these are symptoms of a citizenry that for two generations elected an uncaring, bellicose, anti-business, foul-mouthed mayor (Coleman Young for five terms), a well-meaning but incompetent mayor (Dennis Archer) and perhaps the most crooked mayor in recent American history, Kwame Kilpatrick.

If my beloved hometown must serve as a cautionary tale, it is for us to look at our own elections and vote with our heads.

Ted Raimi

Toluca Lake

Detroit was a wonderful place to grow up. We had no qualms about taking the streetcar to downtown.

Then came World War II and the influx of workers from other parts of the country to work in automobile factories that were converted to defense factories. After the war, they stayed and hoped to blend in to our neighborhoods.

Over the years, my hometown has become the epitome of urban decay. There is no tax base to rebuild Detroit. How sad to say, "God bless you Detroit, may you rest in peace."

Donna Bassin

Westlake Village

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