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Jonzo

Detroit Zoo to Close?!

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I have only recieved very vague information regarding the closing of the zoo. If anybody as anything, I would love to hear it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would say that the best way to revitalize a city would not be to destroy its attractions.

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I saw something about it on WDIV tonight, but they made it sound as if control of the zoo is just being tranferred from the city to someone else...maybe the DZS, I dont know. The whole thing has confused me already.

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That would be bad....

Now, the zoo running as a private enterprise would probably be a good thing.....removing layers of city gov't red tape...

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I wouldn't be surprised.

Really, why doesn't the city just demolish the historical museum, burn down the bridge to Belle Isle, and turn off all of the lights? This is getting ridiculous. I mean, I understand that the city is in some dire financial straits, but how can the city even hope to attract people with no extra amenities, and even some of the more basic ones such as bulk trash pick-up? I guess they should just dissolve the municipality, and call it a day.

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Is the Detroit metro area considering a "wildlife park"? They seem to be the latest rage, and tend to be a bit more humane to animals, and a lot more exciting, than a traditional zoo.

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Thank you city council. I'm hoping this just a tactic on Kwame's part with the ensuing public outrage to get them to reconsider their vote.

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Would closing the zoo negatively effect Detroit? I think it would hurt the region but not really the city. The zoo should be a regional assest and the expenses should be shared as a region. The city of Detroit maintains and pops for most of it but what benefits do they get? When people make a day of the zoo they visit then get a bite to eat and stroll through Royal Oak or go down to Birmingham. Rarely do people take the zoo in then visit the city. L Brooks and Oakland County should foot the bill but I imagine he would throw a hissy fit at the thought. I doubt the zoo will close, it does need however to be controlled by someone other than the city of Detroit. Just my take.

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^ Agreed. I'd like to see the zoo supported by the region as well. But in the polarized social environment of SE Michigan, I wouldn't expect to see that happen either.

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Regionalism is anemic in Michigan, and we have the 1947 redux of the Michigan Constitution to thank for that. It effectively made every chartered township as powerful an incorporated municipalities (cities and villages), and made it possible to pitt directly one neighboring municipality against the other. Heck, we can't even get Eaton and Clinton counties here in metropolitan Lansing to pay to use the airport, and the airport lies entirely within Clinton County, but Lansing and Ingham County have the shoulder the burden of the airport alone.

Read the Lansing State Journal's op-ed piece, today, on this very subject:

On cities: Forum lessons - state's out to lunch; services still matter

http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A...37/1086/opinion

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This is where Oakland County should pick up the slack. I bet if they conducted a study of zoo guests, the majority of Tri-County residents would be from Oakland County. I know that in Downriver "going to the Zoo" means taking the extra 10 minutes to drive to Toledo.;)

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Maybe Michigan should od as Florida did in the late 70's and abolish townships....it seemed to have worked for us.....we have no state income tax, and although spending went up 15% this year, taxes went down 20%....not too shabby.

The Detroit Zoo would be better served as a "Metropark"....thanks the leaders in 1928 for placing the "new zoo" in what would become Royal Oak.

As for the city council, it is not like Detroit has a large talent pool to pull from....the vast majority of the best and brightest moved out in the 70's

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Home rule is so incredibly ingrained in Michigan culture, I don't see townships being abolished in my life time. I also don't see incorporated municipalities ever being given the power, again, to annex townships be they chartered or unchartered.

I can honestly say that we are incredibly backwards in this regard in this state. Our metropolitan areas don't even really compete against each other, let alone on a national scale. We are so busy fighting with our neighboring townships, cities, and villages that we can't see the forest for the trees as the old saying goes.

I swear, if we had the will or law to incorporate individual neighborhoods within cities, townships, and villages, we would. lol

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I think this is great news. It's exciting to finally get to witness the demise of regional assets as a result of Detroit being left to go down the toilet.

Pink slips are being handed out starting today (like right now, as I'm typing this). That doesn't necessarily mean that the zoo is going to close for good, but it's a pretty good foreshadowing of the seriousness and promptness of it all.

Whatever happens, people need to wake the f*** up. Detroit is estimated to lose 1,000 persons per month. That doesn't equate to expanding the zoo, keeping Belle Isle's amenities open, puttin more cops on the streets, more fire hoses on the increased number of buildings burning throughout the city, etc... There is a sense of reality that people nonchelantly forget about because it doesn't affect them, or it doesn't interest them.

Oh, but oopsie, our zoo is going to close. Wait, that's not OUR zoo, that's DETROIT'S zoo. Er wait...huh? The Detroit Zoo IS my zoo. How does this work? How does this affect me? How did this happen? I had no idea. What do we do?

Pull your head out of your a**e* people. Detroit is you and you are Detroit. Your zoo is about to close. It's that simple. End of story.

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Hold on are we talking about THE Detroit Zoo? when I clicked on this thread I thought "Detroit zoo closing, yeah, sure..." How could they even consider something that dumb? Once again I'm completely amzed by the stupidity of Detroit government, it's sickining. :angry:

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What would be sickening is if the region doesnt step up to stop this from happening. Its one thing for everyone in the suburbs to cry and complain about the closing of the zoo, its another to do something and let it be known to the people that run oakland and macomb counties that they need to step in. If the zoo does shut its doors I dont think ill place blame on Detroit, they cant justify the expense with their current budget, ill put blame on the other communities of southeast Michigan for not stepping up to the plate. Michi I think you hit the nail right on the head.

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What would be sickening is if the region doesnt step up to stop this from happening. Its one thing for everyone in the suburbs to cry and complain about the closing of the zoo, its another to do something and let it be known to the people that run oakland and macomb counties that they need to step in. If the zoo does shut its doors I dont think ill place blame on Detroit, they cant justify the expense with their current budget, ill put blame on the other communities of southeast Michigan for not stepping up to the plate. Michi I think you hit the nail right on the head.

Amen! It's ridiculous that most regional amenities in the State of Michigan don't end up being paid for by the region. It's sickening. If the zoo does close it will not be the fault of Detroit, alone, but the fault of the entire region.

Excuse my language, but why in the hell should a city obviously in financial crisis be expected to go in alone of all of the amenities every one else uses? And shame on those in the city that are holding on to amenities they know they can not pay for simply because "those people" may get some say in it. You can't have it both ways. What an ass-backwards era in our state's history.

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It amazes me too how quickly people place blame on the city. Ive talked to many people today about the issue and all they want to do is point fingers at the city without understanding the issue.

One thing that did irk me though was when I read the Freep article again today. Apparently Kwame came up with a solution to pass over control of the zoo to the Detroit Zoological Society with the city still keeping ownership. This would be in place for 15 years and could be renewed at the end of the 15 years if the city wanted to. He passed it on to city council and it got shot down. I was reading that most council members shot it down because they only had 2 DAYS and felt they would have to rush the decision. Are you kidding me? 2 days isnt enough time for a no brainer decision? One council member even went on to say that they liked the idea but turned it down anyway because of Kwame only giving the council two days. What do these people do all day? I think this is definitely a regional problem but our inadequate city council isnt helping the matter at all.

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During discussions Friday, City Council members expressed reservations about $600,000 in annual payments the city would still be required to provide for security for zoo grounds, along with $300,000 in annual insurance costs. In recent years, the city has paid $4 million and $5 million annually for zoo operations
.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article...EWS05/602200402

I just noticed this from yesterdays paper. This doesn't sould like as good of a deal yeah we'd save around 3 million, but we're still on the hook for 900K. I thought agreement would completely relieve Detroit from paying for the zoo.

they complained that even though the city said it could no longer afford to run the zoo, the agreement called for the city to give the zoo $10 million in capital money over two years.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article...NEWS11/60220012

This was in the afternoon update this deal sounds even worse we'd give up control and still would pay for two years. Something is going on here with three very different stories of how this would be step up

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This isn't just the Detroit City Council, I've seen this in my own city where the city council will vote down a very important issue soley because they are pissed at the mayor for not giving them enough time, not because they couldn't make a good decision. There always seems to be quite a communication gulf between city administration and their city councils, and the councils always whine about not being given enough time to make issues, as if they can't make prompt and quick decisions when they need to be made.

The big black eye that came of this, though, was Barbara Rose-Collins racial remark:

Collins said, "The symbolism is that Detroit is a black city and that we

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50 years ago, Michigan, was a bright shining, thriving state. Now it seems we are all re-arranging chairs on a sinking ship. Why does it seem these issues are only being addressed on Urban Planet. The Detroit Zoo, is a huge attraction, not only for SE MI, but an Icon for the entire state. This issue, even if it is speculative, has massive implications for us all. Metropolitan Detroit, is a bohemoth American City, It has the population, wealth, and corporate power, to compete with the likes of Boston, and Philadelphia. Refer to a person from Farmington Hills as being from Detroit, and then DUCK! The suburbs have no identity without Detroit, and they will NEVER be able to distinguish themselves as independent, no matter how hard they fight, and no matter what deluded tourism campaign they try to come up with. Whoever Said they cant see the forest for the trees was dead on. The forest is burning to the ground, and L. Brooks, Kwame, all of the "Mighty" and "distinct" suburbs, and yes even the great state of Michigan, are all going to go down in Flames with it.

It's things like the closing of the Detroit Zoo even being possible, and being used as political currency, that makes us the laughing stock of the country.

*please forgive my tone, i'm just getting fed up with watching everything I love about my home fading.

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After cooling off a bit, myself, I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, Kilpatrick can get the city to reconsider the vote, soon. He also has to work the other front in convincing his many, powerful suburban friends and acquaintences to keep this zoo running, and must also attack this from a more civic side with the other suburban leaders. Either way, he needs a quick solution, that is until he can find a more appropriate and long-term one.

The biggest problem is convincing the protective council of handing over zoo operations to the society. But, if the region refuses to pay for it, it won't matter anyway, which is the other "biggest problem." Kilpatrick is between a rock and a hard place right now, with none of the "solutions" looking good in the long-term.

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The big black eye that came of this, though, was Barbara Rose-Collins racial remark:

Collins said, "The symbolism is that Detroit is a black city and that we

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I'm starting to feel more than ever that the time has come for a state take over of Detroit. With something like this happening, I don't see many other options. All the Detroit City Council had to do was turn over the zoo to a zoological society, which is common. Most zoos now are owned and operated by zoological societies, it's perfectly reasonable and not uncommon. If the zoo does close the blame falls solely on the City Council, nobody else, they have an organization that is willing and able to take care of the zoo and probably do much better than the city, and they turned it down out of spite.

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