Nice going, Melvin*

Kwame and the council are at it again. With literally hours remaining until a proposal to turn the Detroit Zoo over to the non-profit Detroit Zoological Society lapsed, the council decided to close the park and start mailing layoff notices yesterday. The current zoo opened in 1928, and has been the home of thousands of animals since then, most notably the elephants Wanda and Winky, who made national headlines in 2005 when director Don Kagen sent the animals to a sanctuary, citing ethical concerns about the zoo’s inability to meet the physical and psychological needs of the animals.

For his part, Kwame did offer a counter proposal which would have saved the city $5 million a year, and still would have allowed his name to appear on the iconic Detroit Zoo water tower (one of the many perks of being mayor of Detroit), but since both Kwame and the DZS’s plan would have turned ownership of the park to a suburban organization, the council in their infinite wisdom decided that no park is better than one run by white people. As detroitblog so eloquently put it: "The council is like the guy who kills his girlfriend rather than see her wind up with another man."

Did I mention that the proposal would have cost the city $10 million over two years, whereas the city will have to shell out $12 million this spring to shut the park permanently. Apparently, a grasp of simple mathematics is not a requirement for being on the council. Being batshit crazy, though, always welcome.

Apparently, there is still a chance that city could reconsider and reinstate funding for the zoo, or accept the DZS proposal. For all you concerned tri-county denizens, the city council is having their monthly community meeting tonight from 7:00 to 8:30 at Central Area, YouthVille Detroit, 7375 Woodward Avenue at Grand Boulevard. You can also contact the council at 313-224-3443 or www.ci.detroit.mi.us and click on City Council, then Feedback.

*Do any of you remember that old Detroit Zoo commercial from the 80s? The one with the animals preparing for the opening of the park as if they were pampered actors getting ready for the opening night of a play? "Nice going, Melvin" was always my favorite line.

Hat tip to Lauren, who wouldn't shut up until I called the council and lodged my complaint.


annamaria at 7:55 AM

4 spoke


at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 10:51:00 AM Blogger Wake of the Flood said...

Glad to read about a place that's even more dysfunctional politically than CT!

at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 2:02:00 PM Blogger Dane meets Simone said...

Hmmm...maybe I should try individually emailing others.

Thank you for your concern about the Detroit Zoo. Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Monica Conyers shares your concern and has no intention of seeing the Detroit Zoo close. Councilwoman Conyers is the mother of two children that she takes to the zoo every year and when there are special exhibits.

Councilwoman Conyers also has a duty to the people of Detroit to ensure that no contracts are approved by the city council unless those contracts are clearly in the best interests of the citizens of Detroit.

There is work to be done on the contract concerning the Detroit Zoo.

Please stay in touch and know that Councilwoman Conyers will fight to keep the Detroit Zoo open.

Sam Riddle
Chief of Staff
Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Monica Conyers

at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 3:18:00 PM Blogger annamaria said...

Oh, how I love Monica Conyers. Particularly when "the mother of two children" gets into bar brawls.

at Tuesday, February 21, 2006 7:56:00 PM Blogger ID said...

Hot. All that talk about capitalizing on the oneness of the Super Bowl. Find a major American city that doesn't at least have something that remotely resembles a zoo.

Maybe that means that they will focus all of their attention on the Belle Isle Zoo. A major renaissance maybe?

I also read that Jerome Bettis and some other hometown homeboy want to build condos by Chene Park. Fabulous idea. Lets build upscale housing then let them discover that they have to drive to Grosse Pointe to get groceries.


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