Mayor Dave Bing, whose popularity has steadily declined since taking office in 2009, won’t run for re-election after all, he told an audience at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History this afternoon.
Then the 69-year-old mayor dropped the bombshell: He is strongly considering running for Wayne County executive.
Bing said he was still undecided Monday night, but opted against running for a second term because he felt comfortable that he paved the way for Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to rescue the city from insolvency.
Although Bing was hospitalized at least twice last year for a blood cut in the lungs and intestine surgery, health problems don’t appear to be the reason since he’s seeking Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano’s position. Still, Bing has looked fatigued and demoralized over the past 18 months.
Gov. Rick Snyder significantly stripped Bing of his authority earlier this year by appointing an emergency manager to take over the city’s $1.1 billion budget and $15 billion in long-term debt.
Bing expressed frustration over the process.
“I find myself wondering how the state defines partnership,” Bing said.
And then the mayor turned on the media, saying reporters portray the city negatively.
Bing swept into office in 2009 with a plan to reshape the city by encouraging residents to move out of declining neighborhoods and into growing areas where services would be concentrated. But the plan has barely gotten off the ground.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.