I hope that Daniel Howes and Nolan Finley of The Detroit News – among numerous other Detroit journalists – take comfort in this post, which seeks in some small way to make a big noise about Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, unlike the leaders of area big businesses and so-called business advocacy groups who have been vacuously silent and have yet to say a word about Mayor Kilpatrick’s continued self-destruction and its fiercely negative impact on this region’s business community.

As one owner of a small and thriving business in metro Detroit serving several clients in and around metro Detroit, regionally and nationally, I wish to let the Mayor know that he is hurting my business by staying in office due to the negative reputation he continues to cast on our community.  Please, Mayor, hear me:  GO AWAY NOW!

There is nothing to be gained (but his own personal satisfaction) for the Mayor to remain in office, and he should put himself and the Southeast Michigan business community out of our collective misery by stepping down.  Our state and region continue to be mired in a prolonged and intractable negative spiral, financially and reputationally, which worsens daily with each and every Mayoral blunder.  And I have to wonder why not one prominent business person other than Dave Bing has yet to utter a single word of admonishment about the Mayor’s continued abhorrent (and illegal) behavior.  As members of Southeast Michigan’s business community, are we that complacent?  Come on, people!  You can’t really think this is normal!  Do you all have laryngitis?  Someone help me understand.

It disgusts me that a group of business leaders actually spent the energy and time to try to negotiate an “out” for the Mayor, as if somehow a coy business-like transaction would entice Hizzoner to exit the position, especially since not one of those same business leaders was even in a position to vote for the Mayor in the first place.  What’s even more sickening is that the Mayor apparently considered the proposal and turned it down!

Southeast Michigan’s business community MUST move forward.  To continue to allow Mayor Kilpatrick to affect lasting and irreparable damage in the midst of tremendously challenging economic times is tantamount to condoning his actions. I call on other small business owners – and indeed, business leaders throughout Michigan – who hopefully have the courage and the confidence to say what is on all of our minds!  Join me in calling for this nightmare to end! 

— Lisa Vallee-Smith

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