Urban Studies chair comments about Detroit mayoral race in Christian Science Monitor report
On Tuesday, Detroit voters may give the city what it hasn't had in 40 years: a white mayor. The shift away from racial politics in Detroit "is a reflection of change in the city," says Robin Boyle, chair of the urban studies and planning department at Wayne State University.
"The hostility that has been toward white candidates has increasingly moved to the fringe," Boyle says. "There is clearly a deep concern from the neighborhoods that whoever is going to be running this city post-bankruptcy has got to have a clear sense of how the business of a city works." Stepping into office if and when the city lapses into a federal bankruptcy restructuring could be ideal, Boyle says: It means that the legacy issues of past administrations – the looming debt, pushback from labor unions - would be largely dealt with outside the mayor's office. "By the time he assumes power, he'll be running a city that's had a cleaner balance than any Detroit mayor had since the Second World War," Boyle says.
"That does not mean there won't be fundamental problems, but it does mean that many of the red-ink problems will be less than they were. There's an opportunity here."