Detroit recently filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history, but other cities may be close behind.
“We may be one of the first. We are the largest. But we absolutely will not be the last, and so we have got to set a benchmark in terms how to fix our cities,” Detroit Mayor Dave Bing told the Wall Street Journal on July 21.
While Bing was referring to the 100 urban areas across the country facing financial struggles, Detroit suburbs are also concerned about the possible impact of their proximity to a city more than $18 billion in debt.
Suburbs in neighboring affluent counties worry that Detroit’s bankruptcy could lower their bond ratings, drive away business, and raise water and sewage rates.
In Hamtramck, a small, working-class city almost entirely surrounded by Detroit, City Council candidate Richard Fabiszak is proposing an extreme solution to keep the Motor City’s problems away: a 12- to 14-foot-high wall.
Fabiszak says that a wall around the city’s perimeter would keep criminals and vandals out of Hamtramck.
The call for a wall first appeared in an ad in the Hamtramck Review, where Fabiszak laid out an ambitious campaign platform, which also includes 24/7 City Hall hours, an ID requirement to enter the walled city, and free parking.
Perhaps the most concerning item in Fabiszak’s agenda is his call for an “instant death penalty”—a policy in sharp contrast to Michigan’s statehood-long record of no capital punishment.
According to local CBS affiliate (WWJ), Fabiszak’s campaign has no office, no website, no Facebook page, and cannot be reached by phone. However, this is not Fabiszak’s first run for office. During his failed mayoral campaign of 2005, Fabiszak sought a similar set of unconventional objectives.
In a July 15 interview with the Hamtramck Review describing his candidacy, Fabiszak expressed a desire to help people, and “Get rid of crack and dope pushers.”