DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) – During a speech in which he touted the accomplishments made during his current administration, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing told an assembled audience of dignitaries and media that he will not run again for a new term.
Bing said he has been approached and will explore other political options, including that of Wayne County Executive.
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“I want to continue to work for the advancement of the city and this region,” Bing said.
The 69-year-old professional basketball Hall-of-Famer and former businessman was first elected mayor in 2009. His administration has struggled with a budget deficit of more than $300 million dollars, and Detroit is now the largest city in the country to come under state oversight.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appointed bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr as emergency manager in March. Orr has the final say on all financial matters in the City of Detroit.
During the speech at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Bing acknowledged the hard work of his staff.
“Since taking office four years ago, my administration and I have worked diligently to restore integrity to the mayor’s office and rebuild our citizens’ trust in city government,” he said.
Among the accomplishments Bing mentioned in his speech were convincing GM, along with help from President Obama, to keep its headquarters in Detroit. Bing said the city was also in danger of losing the North American International Auto Show, but thanks to a collaboration with local leaders and a $289 makeover to Cobo Center, there is now a five year contract that will keep the show in the city.
The mayor also talked about efforts to reduce crime in the city and improve the lives of residents, but admitted there is still much more that needs to be done.
“All the plans that we’ve put in place and are now being executed will not be completed by the end of my term. I want to acknowledge and thank the nearly 2,000 citizens who signed petitions in support of putting my name on the ballot. I’m announcing today that I have decided not to seek another term as mayor of Detroit,” Bing said.
“However, I have been approached and will establish an exploratory committee to examine other political options, including the office of Wayne County exec.”
“The last 4 years have been challenging, yet rewarding. I am pleased with how my administration has moved the needle forward on Detroit’s future. We have to make Detroit work for our residents. All roads lead to the same place, a better Detroit, a transformed Detroit, Change has begun.”
Meanwhile, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said in a statement, “Mayor Bing has worked as hard as anyone to help stabilize the city during some very though times.”