For nearly a week, each January, Cobo Hall becomes my virtual home. It’s not that I’m seeking asylum, but like thousands of other automotive journalists, I spend most of my waking hours at the annual North American International Auto Show. Over the decades, I’ve come to know the aging facility well. And I’ve heard all the arguments raised, during those many years, for expanding it, replacing it – or, if you listen to a few of my frustrated colleagues, simply burning it down to the ground.
Recently, Detroit’s fractious City Council voted down the latest mega-milion-dollar plan to expand Cobo Hall. In typically absurd style, members of the “august” body called up racist images and turned to divisive city/suburban politics to justify their tortured logic. The nay vote will now be the subject of an imminent court battle pitting Detroit’s interim Mayor Ken Cockrel against the council, which is led by Monica Conyers, wife of the powerful U.S. Rep. John Conyers.
I must admit, I seldom find myself in agreement with Madame Council President, but this time I think she is arguing for the right move – albeit for all the wrong reasons. Simply cleaning up and expanding the aging Cobo Hall is little more than putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Frankly, the facility does need to be taken down to its foundation.
Why? Click here to read my editorial, which appeared in today’s Detroit Free Press.