By Tom Quiner

Bill Nojay knows the story about Detroit. He worked for the city.

He gives us an inside look at the dysfunction that permeated Detroit in a piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal today (“Lessons from a front-row seat for Detroit’s dysfunction”).

He gives us a real feel for structural problems embedded in a government built by liberalism. Here’s a quick recap of his observations.

What did you do?

“Last year, I served as chief operating officer of the Detroit Department of Transportation. I was hired as a contractor for the position, and in my eight months on the job I got a vivid sense of the city’s dysfunction. Almost every day, a problem would arise, a solution would be found—but implementing the fix would prove impossible.”

Was it easy to manage your people?

“Union and civil-service rules made it virtually impossible to fire anyone. A six-step disciplinary process provided job protection to anyone with a pulse, regardless of poor performance or bad behavior. Even the time-honored management technique of moving someone up or sideways where he would do less harm didn’t work in Detroit: Job descriptions and qualification requirements were so strict it was impossible for management to rearrange the organization chart. I was a manager with virtually no authority over personnel.”

Could a bailout fix Detroit”

“The last thing Detroit needs is a bailout. What it needs is to sweep away a city charter that protects only bureaucrats, civil-service rules that straightjacket municipal departments, and obsolete union contracts. A bailout would just keep the dysfunction in place. Time to start over.”

Go to the Wall Street Journal to read his complete analysis of what is wrong with Detroit.

 

2 Comments

  1. Monte on July 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I agree. Not all cities and public unions have acted so irresponsibly, but Detroit deserves no federal dollars to bail them out. Let it be a lesson to all municipalities that treat the taxpayer with such greed.

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