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How many cities in Michigan are like Pontiac and showing signs of a death rattle?

Many cities in Michigan are suffering from not having enough money to pay their bills.  This morning the plight of the city of Pontiac is featured in the Detroit Free Press.  Look at some of the hard, cold facts mentioned in the story:

  • In 1974, the city had 175 police officers and today it has fewer than 70.
  • The city is so poor it can't afford to paint the lines on the streets.
  • The city of Pontiac has also shuttered its community centers and eliminated most of its park programs.
  • Its Department of Public Works crews are down to eight workers.
  • The city is running a $6.5 million deficit in its $57-million general fund budget.
Next step?  State takeover?

The city of Lansing is struggling with its budget.  Pontiac's situation brings home the importance of what the city leaders are doing. 

They need to be successful.  The alternatives are not very inviting.

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