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  1. #1

    Default Duggan Fires DDOT Chief - Declares Population Will Be Growing By Next Election 2017

    Just heard this on WDET. Duggan seems to have grabbed the bull by the horns, verbally at least, declaring that change is already happening. He touted the success in plowing the snow from all Detroit streets and implementing 24 hour garbage pickup/catch up as his evidence.

    Saying he was appalled by seeing crowded bus stops caused by buses running two hours late on his drive in to work, he has fired the DDOT chief.

    He is asking Detroiters for a six month honeymoon, urging them to stick it out and not move away. He also declared that the city's population will be growing by the time of the next mayoral election.

    He definitely hit the ground running. What will happen when he hits the many walls and political land mines out there? Good luck Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    Just heard this on WDET. Duggan seems to have grabbed the bull by the horns, verbally at least, declaring that change is already happening. He touted the success in plowing the snow from all Detroit streets and implementing 24 hour garbage pickup/catch up as his evidence.

    Saying he was appalled by seeing crowded bus stops caused by buses running two hours late on his drive in to work, he has fired the DDOT chief.

    He is asking Detroiters for a six month honeymoon, urging them to stick it out and not move away. He also declared that the city's population will be growing by the time of the next mayoral election.

    He definitely hit the ground running. What will happen when he hits the many walls and political land mines out there? Good luck Mike.
    I heard this story on NPR yesterday and had the same exact thoughts. Where I live, the main streets always were more or less plowed within a reasonable time frame. The less populated side streets took forever, if ever @ all. IV was a boiler plate sheet of ice when I drove through it. If I owned a home there, and paid the taxes on it those people pay, I'd be ticked. As far as DDOT goes, MD's actions seemed a bit radical to me. How much of the transportation issues were actually the DDOT's chief's fault? It seems to me some analysis should have been done instead of a public beheading. It'll be interesting to see how MD and his hand picked crew play out in the coming months. I was never totally sold on him, but he did seem to be the lesser of the 4 evils.
    Last edited by Honky Tonk; January-08-14 at 10:14 AM.

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    I can't really comment much about the DDOT situation, but regarding the snow, I was impressed that he even had a plan. He was talking about what they were going to do on Friday before the storm hit. I can't remember a Detroit mayor taking to the airwaves with their snow storm plan ahead of the storm in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie5275 View Post
    I can't really comment much about the DDOT situation, but regarding the snow, I was impressed that he even had a plan. He was talking about what they were going to do on Friday before the storm hit. I can't remember a Detroit mayor taking to the airwaves with their snow storm plan ahead of the storm in the past.
    That's how it use to be in Detroit when I was growing up in the 60's and early to mid 70's. The snow was always plowed, until the crooks slowly started emptying the cookie jar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie5275 View Post
    I can't really comment much about the DDOT situation, but regarding the snow, I was impressed that he even had a plan. He was talking about what they were going to do on Friday before the storm hit. I can't remember a Detroit mayor taking to the airwaves with their snow storm plan ahead of the storm in the past.
    Communications IS commendable, but was it necessary or even out of the ordinary? My point was, where I live, I really didn't notice any big change from what has happened in the past after a big snowfall. MD made it sound like nothing was in place and he orchestrated it all. Maybe people in other parts of Detroit have a different opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincinnati_Kid View Post
    That's how it use to be in Detroit when I was growing up in the 60's and early to mid 70's. The snow was always plowed, until the crooks slowly started emptying the cookie jar.
    As a resident of Detroit since 1968, I don't remember the City plowing residential streets until the mid 1990's under the Archer administration. Archer acquiesced after a media firestorm ensued when then DPS super Eddie Green closed schools because students couldn't get there because roads and sidewalks were impassable. Green urged students to use their snow day to shovel and help out their neighbors. Prior to this, block clubs would hire private contractors for their snow removal as we did on Clements Street.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honky Tonk View Post
    Communications IS commendable, but was it necessary or even out of the ordinary? My point was, where I live, I really didn't notice any big change from what has happened in the past after a big snowfall. MD made it sound like nothing was in place and he orchestrated it all. Maybe people in other parts of Detroit have a different opinion.
    He is communicating, and telling the citizens of his city what his game plan is. Bing never did that. Kilpatrick never did that. This is an improvement. The results might be the same, or even slightly better, but he is communicating, and that is a huge step ahead of Dave "Walking Corpse" Bing and convicted racketeer Kwame Kilpatrick.

    Also I have a feeling that the firing of the DDOT chief is a decent start because maybe he can get someone in there who is willing to bust arse to figure out how to best use limited resources. At least MD is doing SOMETHING, can you name anything Dave Bing did in the past year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    Just heard this on WDET. Duggan seems to have grabbed the bull by the horns, verbally at least, declaring that change is already happening. He touted the success in plowing the snow from all Detroit streets and implementing 24 hour garbage pickup/catch up as his evidence.

    Saying he was appalled by seeing crowded bus stops caused by buses running two hours late on his drive in to work, he has fired the DDOT chief.

    He is asking Detroiters for a six month honeymoon, urging them to stick it out and not move away. He also declared that the city's population will be growing by the time of the next mayoral election.

    He definitely hit the ground running. What will happen when he hits the many walls and political land mines out there? Good luck Mike.
    The best thing about his situation is the Emergency Manager. Most individuals would have fought back, but Duggan has forged a relationship out of necessity. By doing this, many of the walls he stands to hit, he can go to Orr and he can approve changes without having to get clowncil approval. Orr has very broad and substantial powers, and Duggan certainly sees this as an advantage, which is why he is working with Orr while he is here. The goal is not for Orr to be here, but as long as he is, he can be a major asset to breaking down the barriers of city government that got in the way and put the city in this predicament in the first place.

    It may pose a bigger problem down the road when Orr leaves, but the hope is, that many of those barriers are exposed and eliminated while he is here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honky Tonk View Post
    As far as DDOT goes, MD's actions seemed a bit radical to me. How much of the transportation issues were actually the DDOT's chief's fault?
    I'd be willing to bet he had some inside insight here.

    City officials, appointees, and hangers-on have been crying broke and lack of resources as excuses for as long as I can remember. DDOT has been basically non-functioning for several years now, despite alleged right-sizing through cutting routes and services. As in virtually ever situation in real life the buck has to stop with someone instead just giving someone's auntie or cousin a pass for "We're doing the best we can."

    I'm equally glad the ball-busting has finally been brought to the offices instead of the rank-and-file workers.

    I missed our recycling day because it was actually on time. I have had zero issues cruising around the city. My trash was picked up. It's wildly early, but keep it up, Mr. Mayor. I will be here for at least 6 months.

    It's also a stark contrast in intelligence and effectiveness to the same old alleged allies of the people who are telling the newspapers to go to hell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poobert View Post
    I'd be willing to bet he had some inside insight here.

    City officials, appointees, and hangers-on have been crying broke and lack of resources as excuses for as long as I can remember. DDOT has been basically non-functioning for several years now, despite alleged right-sizing through cutting routes and services. As in virtually ever situation in real life the buck has to stop with someone instead just giving someone's auntie or cousin a pass for "We're doing the best we can."

    I'm equally glad the ball-busting has finally been brought to the offices instead of the rank-and-file workers.

    I missed our recycling day because it was actually on time. I have had zero issues cruising around the city. My trash was picked up. It's wildly early, but keep it up, Mr. Mayor. I will be here for at least 6 months.

    It's also a stark contrast in intelligence and effectiveness to the same old alleged allies of the people who are telling the newspapers to go to hell.
    The current DDOT chief was brought in by Orr like 5 months ago to overhaul the system. This wasn't some CAYMAC gadfly. He last ran Seattle's system.

    I think this is an incredibly rash move and totally without merit.
    Toliver acknowledges service was behind schedule Monday; only about 40 percent of the scheduled drivers made it into work because of the inclement weather, he said.
    What exactly does Duggan think firing the head of DDOT will do to rectify that?

    Seems to me he was making serious progress:
    Toliver said he and his seven-member DDOT management team are making strides toward improving DDOT safety and service. They've begun the first-phase installation of 50 bus cameras, to be completed by the end of January, and will issue a bid request to companies for the installation of 250 more in the remaining buses to be completed by the spring.
    As far as service goes: "We don't have enough buses running compared to what we have promised," Toliver said.
    During the afternoon rush-hour, Toliver said DDOT must have 227 of its 300 buses in service. They are averaging 197, up 20 from when he took over nearly five months ago.
    An average of 100 buses are sidelined each day for maintenance issues.
    "We're moving fast and hard to change this," Toliver said.
    Toliver currently lives in Detroit, where he hopes to remain, "at least" until his contract expires.
    Last edited by bailey; January-08-14 at 11:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motz View Post
    He is communicating, and telling the citizens of his city what his game plan is. Bing never did that. Kilpatrick never did that. This is an improvement. The results might be the same, or even slightly better, but he is communicating, and that is a huge step ahead of Dave "Walking Corpse" Bing and convicted racketeer Kwame Kilpatrick.

    Also I have a feeling that the firing of the DDOT chief is a decent start because maybe he can get someone in there who is willing to bust arse to figure out how to best use limited resources. At least MD is doing SOMETHING, can you name anything Dave Bing did in the past year?
    He proclaimed May 21st-May 27th, 2013, Detroit Techno Week.

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    Whatever your feelings about Duggan, he will hold his subordinates to a very high standard.

    My brother-in-law was a midlevel mgr. at DMC while Duggan was there... and he was very tough on his managers to show results. They didn't much care for him. However, no results? Buh-bye....

    Detroit has waited long enough for excuses... time for action....

    Whatever the merits (or lack thereof) in this decision... Duggan fired a warning shot for all of the people in City Government... show no results? He'll show you the door...

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    Had a nice chat with a fellow who stepped into Gratiot this morning, looking for the bus. I was headed to 9 Mile, so I offered him a ride as far as he was going up to there. He accepted, thus the opportunity for said nice chat.

    He said D-DOT had been so bad this year, but when I told him the Mayor had fired the head of it this morning, he smiled. Said too many folks from previous administrations had simply been allowed to keep their jobs, no matter how bad they were at them.

    When I asked if he had bad experiences with the drivers, he said yes...it had gotten much worse this past year...they'd gotten hostile for some reason. The problems with D-DOT are much deeper than this damn snow.

    Let's hope this change will affect their overall moods.

    Good on Duggan...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    Whatever the merits (or lack thereof) in this decision... Duggan fired a warning shot for all of the people in City Government... show no results? He'll show you the door...
    all well and good. Just questioning the axing of someone on the turn around job for less than 6 months and during a once a generation storm. Should Duggan be fired if he hasn't rectified all of detroit's problems in 6 months?

    I mean there is a difference between lighting some fires under some asses and being a knee jerk reactionary...

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    It does appear that Mr. Toliver was making progress on some fronts, but having said that, it is completely routine for a new mayor to want to choose his own department heads. Mayor Duggan will want to bring in someone who, in his estimation, will be able to rapidly attack the biggest problems DDOT faces. Given the amount of money available to DDOT, which admittedly isn't nearly enough, it could be doing much better than it is doing.

    DDOT needs to accomplish several things. Roughly in order of importance:
    1. Get as many of the broken-down buses repaired as possible, in order to have 227 available for service every single weekday without exception. As a practical matter this means you need to have 250-260 expected to be operational, so you have spares to put in mid-day when breakdowns happen.
    2. Put in a system of preventive maintenance to get off of the roller coaster envisioned in problem 1.
    3. Put together a contract with the employees so that it becomes actually somewhat predictable as to how many people will show up for work on any given day.
    4. Rehire line supervisors. (Bus systems do not run themselves.)
    5. Get more reliable fareboxes so you can actually collect all the money the riders are supposed to be paying.
    6. Restructure the routes completely, in coordination with SMART, M1 and the RTA, so the routes reflect the reality of the situation of 2014 (where and when people work, live, go to school, go to the doctor, etc.) rather than keeping the route structure of 1927 and just cutting back a bit every year.

    Of these, the first five could be accomplished very quickly; the sixth will take more time. It will be interesting, once we see who the mayor has hired, what that person's stated priorities are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by professorscott View Post
    It does appear that Mr. Toliver was making progress on some fronts, but having said that, it is completely routine for a new mayor to want to choose his own department heads
    ....
    It will be interesting, once we see who the mayor has hired, what that person's stated priorities are.
    Agreed... but that isn't what he did. He fired the guy for cause.... and that cause was for not having the buses running on time even though 40% of the drivers couldn't actually get into work to drive them.

    it will be interesting to see what Wayne County or DMC crony gets appointed over the guy who was brought in less than 6 months ago as a specialist who spent a career running transit systems all over the country.

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    I'm waiting to form my opinion on this move. As was said, this guy has been there for 5 months only. I heard on the WDET report that Duggan already had a replacement lined up. So, if this is only about getting to appoint your own department heads, the new guy/gal better have awfully good credentials. Otherwise, change for the sake of change doesn't impress me.

    In fact, it reminds me of one the early moves Archer did that began to turn my opinion against him. Archer dropped the ball on Devil's night his first year in office and the number of fires increased for the first time in several years. With great fanfare, he made some fire department lieutenant the scapegoat and fired him.

    I'd also be curious to know how Orr feels about Duggan removing a guy Orr appointed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    The current DDOT chief was brought in by Orr like 5 months ago to overhaul the system. This wasn't some CAYMAC gadfly. He last ran Seattle's system.

    I think this is an incredibly rash move and totally without merit.


    What exactly does Duggan think firing the head of DDOT will do to rectify that?

    Seems to me he was making serious progress:
    When you are the Mayor, you get to make these decisions. I don't know if Toliver was making progress or not. But I don't care. We didn't elect Toliver, we elected Duggan.

    Duggan made a decision. Why? We don't know. So defending Toliver is besides the point. Our Mayor has a job to do. Let him do it without constant criticism.

    If Duggan fails, then vote him out of office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    When you are the Mayor, you get to make these decisions. I don't know if Toliver was making progress or not. But I don't care. We didn't elect Toliver, we elected Duggan.

    Duggan made a decision. Why? We don't know. So defending Toliver is besides the point. Our Mayor has a job to do. Let him do it without constant criticism.

    If Duggan fails, then vote him out of office.
    Just like Kilpatrick; -$84 million later.
    Last edited by Honky Tonk; January-08-14 at 01:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by professorscott View Post
    It does appear that Mr. Toliver was making progress on some fronts,
    I'd like to know what fronts.
    Increased violent incidents on buses? Check
    More disruptions in service? Check
    Worse relationship with DDOT drivers? Check

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    Quote Originally Posted by rb336 View Post
    I'd like to know what fronts.
    Increased violent incidents on buses? Check
    More disruptions in service? Check
    Worse relationship with DDOT drivers? Check
    I had my worst D-DOT driver experience last year.

    Didn't know of the recent dude's installation, this is all starting to make some sense.

    Hope Duggan doesn't come after me now for the lost fare.

    Cheers!

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    It does not surprise me. I have worked with him in the past. He is a pitbull.

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    YAY!!!

    Now that's action from Mayor Duggan. I dig his works. He's doing for Detroiters not for personal gain. He's getting rid of some bad apples just like he did when he was Wayne County Prosecutor, CEO of DMC and running the SMART bus system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitPlanner View Post
    He is a pitbull.
    Yup, and some people won't like the harshness of it, but you can't fix Detroit without making some very harsh and drastic changes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    When you are the Mayor, you get to make these decisions. I don't know if Toliver was making progress or not. But I don't care. We didn't elect Toliver, we elected Duggan.

    Duggan made a decision. Why? We don't know. So defending Toliver is besides the point. Our Mayor has a job to do. Let him do it without constant criticism.

    If Duggan fails, then vote him out of office.


    'cuse me but you told me not to long ago that you lived in Hamtramck -- and now you claim you voted for Duggan?

    Typical.

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