For Detroit, a Crisis Born of Bad Decisions and False Hope
Some factors were out of the city’s control. As auto industry jobs moved elsewhere over the decades, for example, Detroit lost much of its affluent tax base. Lower than expected state revenue sharing did not help, nor did corruption allegations in the administration of Kwame M. But recent findings from a state-appointed review team and interviews with past and present city officials also suggest a city that over the years was remarkably badly run. The state review team found in recent months that the city’s main courthouse had $280 million worth of uncollected fines and fees. “This was bad decisions piled on top of each other,” Gary Brown, the Detroit City Council president pro tem, said the other day. Photo Once the nation’s fourth-largest city, Detroit had grown up around the auto industry, booming right along with it in the 1950s. “It was easy to do so back in the 1950s,” said Joseph L. At the same time, officials papered over growing deficits with more borrowing. Mr.
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