Was Kilpatrick A Total Failure?
Generally, I'm not all that interested in the ongoing saga that is former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and much less so since he got out of jail and receded into the semi-obscurity of life as a private citizen. But as I read the latest reports about his ex-aides being arraigned and how Kilpatrick himself has been ordered to pay $320,000 in restitution to the city in 90 days or go to jail, I couldn't help but think back to his early days as the city's CEO, when there was so much enthusiasm and excitement and hope surrounding him, the youngest mayor in the city's history. I know what happened to all that promise, of course. He blew the vast bulk of it.
Was it all a complete waste? Did Kilpatrick do anything positive for the city, for the region, during his tumultuous six-plus years in the Manoogian Mansion? Sure, much of his time as mayor was spent mired in scandal — but leaving aside the prodigious amounts of dirt accumulated by Kwame and his cronies, was there anything at all redeeming about the Kilpatrick administration, its policies, its programs?
Most of us don't disagree that Kwame Kilpatrick ultimately proved bad for this city. But — and I ask this in all seriousness — is there anything you can point to from his time as Detroit mayor and say of Kilpatrick, "You did good?"