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Detroit mayor points to 'signs of hope and possibilities'


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Over the past 11 years, revenue sharing to Detroit has been cut more than $700 million, he added.

"It is clear that if Detroit had received its agreed upon share of revenues from the state, our financial picture would not be as grim today," he said.

Some of the cuts Bing has made, especially to jobs and benefits have opened him to heavy criticism from the city's municipal unions and some on the City Council.

With the help of state legislators, a public lighting authority is being created to improve Detroit's antiquated street lighting system.

The city's police department also is being restructured to help put more officers on the streets to tackle Detroit's high crime rate. One hundred officers are expected to be moved to patrols and criminal investigations this spring, he said.

Bing also said his administration is well on its way in completing his promise of demolishing 10,000 of the city's more than 30,000 vacant and abandoned houses by the end of his term. So far, about 6,700 houses have been torn down.

"It is time to transform the image of Detroit, and we must do it by working together," Bing said. "Too often, people focus only on the negative things in our city."

Henry Strobhart watched Bing deliver his speech on television and said the mayor offered little to residents on when help would come to Detroit's struggling neighborhoods.

"I don't like that when I vote for a guy and he doesn't address the issues of the neighborhoods," said Strobhart, 58. "We need police, firefighters and EMS."


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