Bing outlines city's plan to business people

By Corey Williams
Associated Press Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Companies operating in Detroit or seeking to move into the city will find a more receptive and professional government, Mayor Dave Bing told a group of business leaders at an annual chamber of commerce event Thursday.

The mayor’s administration and city departments must look at running Detroit as a business, Bing said.

“We’ve got to start thinking like business people,” he told several hundred people at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mayoral Address to the Business Community. “Without you it won’t work. We won’t come back as a city. We won’t come back as a region.
“We’re going to need some of your ideas, some of your expertise, some of your time and some of your money, quite frankly,” Bing added.

He also plans to cut out red tape and create a better working relationship with Detroit’s businesses, creating a “one-stop” shopping center for companies approaching the city and seeking answers from its various departments.

Plans also are in place to hold eight summits to look at ways to improve Detroit. Those summits will focus on areas like education, jobs, public safety and land use.

Bing acknowledged that a complete, long-range plan has yet to be developed because there has been so much work to do since his election last May in a special runoff vote, and his victory in November to a full, four-year term.

“We’ve been trying to keep the lights on,” he said. “We’ve been trying to make sure payroll is met. I inherited a mess. We’ve got to go back and start from scratch almost to bring things where they should be.”

Over the past few weeks, Bing has presented his vision for Detroit to residents and given council members his city budget. On Tuesday, Bing presented what he said was a balanced $2.9 billion budget to the City Council. He said the budget cuts a deficit of more than $300 million down to $85 million.

Much is expected of the mayor, said AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray who introduced Bing at Thursday’s event.

“The mayor is a businessman and he understands our challenges,” Murray said.