EDITORIAL: What we can learn from Detroit - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

EDITORIAL: What we can learn from Detroit

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WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon
(Toledo News Now) -

The bankruptcy of Detroit should serve as a wake-up call for everyone who lives in a region dominated by a big city. 

One of the lessons of Detroit is: We have been permitting politicians to answer the wrong question.  Politicians love to answer ‘why?'  Why is subjective.  Why is easy - there are always good reasons to do things.  Why provides opportunities for high-sounding, yet utterly meaningless, phrases like, "it's the right thing to do," "our kids deserve better," "everyone deserves a fair chance,"  and blah, blah, blah. 

The real lesson of Detroit is we should demand an answer to ‘how?'  How will you do this?  How much will it cost?  How will you pay for it?  How long will it take?  How will it impact other programs?  How will you manage it?  How will you judge its effectiveness? 

And if we cannot get substantial answers to ‘how,' then the next question should be, "How do you expect to be an effective mayor when you cannot explain the basics of something you just said is going to be a critical element of your administration?"  

If we don't wake up today and ask ‘how,' then I fear we will wake up later, like the people in Detroit are surely doing, and be asking ourselves,  "How did things get so bad?"

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