Here’s hoping, cuz Hizzoner says in e-mails obtained by The Detroit News that he has “no intentions of ever residing here again. I’m often thought of as a Detroiter, but I am not. My life, family and residency is in Texas.”
Unless, of course, the disgraced former mayor’s home ends up being a cell somewhere in the federal prison system, depending on the outcome of his trial on racketeering and corruption charges now near the beginning of something like its third month. It may come as quite a shock to the mayor to know the single biggest reaction to his vow never to return likely could be boiled to a single word:
Promise you’ll leave for good the city that is worse for having elected a self-dealing petty pol as mayor? Promise that the city will no longer be played for a bunch of fools by a guy whose over-riding ambition inevitably boiled down to playing the long game of self-enrichment? Promise that Detroiters won’t be asked to mistake self-important preening and hanging with rap stars to be a sufficient substitute for the basic competence in government?
It can’t come soon enough. When the trial of Kilpatrick and his cronies ends — and it will end, won’t it? — and he blessedly is gone from arena of Detroit politics and business, the rest of us finally will be able to assess the arc of damage his tenure wrought on the city, how his cynical abuses of public trust and power hastened the slide toward existential crisis that is poised to place control of the city in the hands of a few appointees selected by the governor in Lansing.
Detroit’s path to state control has many parents – the past several mayors, a cavalcade of City Council members, bureaucrats and city union leaders — but few, if any, abused the city and its people with more wanton disregard than Kilpatrick and his Krew. It’s perfectly fine that he no longer wants to call Detroit home; most Detroiters in name and spirit don’t want him to, either.