Detroit Mayor Dave Bing was the keynote speaker of a well-attended fund-raising event tonight sponsored by Kids Unlimited.
Mr. Bing, who is stepping down soon as mayor after he did not run for re-election this year, was introduced at the State of the Child dinner at the Pinnacle in Maumee by Toledo Mayor Mike Bell.
Mr. Bell said of Mr. Bing, “he decided not to run this year. I’ve been looking at his face. His face is just so relaxed. I told him, ‘Mr. Mayor, I’m working on that look myself.’”
Mr. Bell said he could relate to Mr. Bing, who took on problems that he didn’t create and did his best to improve the situation. He said he attended a Red Wings hockey game in Detroit this weekend and was impressed with the city.
Mr. Bing was elected mayor in 2009 to replace former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who resigned for a perjury conviction.
Speaking to the crowd of about 550, Mr. Bing said the U.S. needs a stronger emphasis on education, and credited Kids Unlimited in helping move the Toledo area in that direction.
Kids Unlimited is a nonprofit organization that provides after-school mentoring to children in five Toledo schools in under-served areas.
Discussing his term as mayor, Mr. Bing said he demanded harder work from the city administration and put his emphasis on public safety, better infrastructure and transportation, and maintaining parks and recreation.
“Things have changed so dramatically over time that the kids of today are not getting what a lot of us in this room got,” said Mr. Bing.
He told Mr. Bell that, "for the term that you served you have made a difference."
Mr. Bing was elected to a full term in November, 2009. He announced in May that he would not seek re-election, weeks after the city was placed under the oversight of an emergency manager who is seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors.
Mr. Bell is also stepping down as mayor of Toledo. He was defeated in his re-election bid Nov. 5 by Councilman D. Michael Collins.