Friday, March 21, 2008

City Council corrects itself

According to the Free Press, a rule that would have denied CDBG funds to 105 Detroit non-profits won't go into effect this year. The council unanimously delayed the implementation of the new rule, which requires non-profits to have a majority of Detroit residents on their boards to receive federal funds, after realizing that major non-profits like Focus: HOPE and Greening of Detroit would be denied funding.

The case is another illustration of the region's dysfunction. The rule should have been phased in and framed as a measure to ensure the community's voice in the allocation of federal funds. Instead it was approved without forethought or discussion and then defended in a needlessly divisive manner. Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins said complaints about the rule were paternalistic and reflected a "slave-master mentality." What nonsense! Race resentment is real--Obama did a great job of confronting that reality this week--but it needn't play a part in every minor policy debate in Metro Detroit.

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