Crain’s Detroit Business reported yesterday that Kirk Lewis is resigning from the Bing administration. Neither Crain’s nor Deadline Detroit provides the effective date of Lewis’s separation, however, DD quotes him as saying
I believe strongly in the direction he (Bing) is moving this City…
What direction is that, Kirk? Backward? While this blog has predicted and looked forward to the resignations of Bing and Lewis for nearly three years, the timing of the announcement obscures the dignity and integrity of such a gesture. Had Lewis or Bing resigned when it became obvious that they could not succeed (arguably two years ago), they could be hailed as righteous activists for the people – men of integrity who were honest with their consituents and courageous enough to do the right thing at the right time. Instead, they’ve lingered and drawn out the excruciating inevitablility far too long. Instead, Lewis resigns “while the getting is good.” He advised Dave Bing poorly throughout their tenure, he lacked the foresight to expand the Mayor’s trusted circle, and he alienated many talented professionals who could have helped. Resigning the day after the perfunctory Financial Review Board’s report to the Governor and likely only a day or two before the Governor announces his intention to appoint an Emergency Manager (the utlimate proof of the Lewis/Bing failure), Lewis eschews any appearance of selfless public service or respectable leadership. His resignation is too little, too late, too trivial, and too selfish – a standard which, however low, the Mayor himself has not yet attained.
Will Mayor Bing wait until the EM is installed and work to transition administrative functions? Or will he back up his “indignation” over the whole EM/Consent Agreement debacle and resign sooner? Sadly it probably depends on his cash reserves and other opportunities available to him. Anyone looking for an ex pro athlete-turned mayor who failed as a businessman and as an elected official?
There isn’t much good that anyone can say about this administration other than it’s over. Finally.