Roger Penske doesn’t profess to have all the answers, but he shared some strong opinions Wednesday about what’s wrong with Detroit and how to fix it.
Speaking Wednesday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Policy Conference on Mackinac Island, the business and racing powerhouse said the city’s lighting and transportation systems need to be privatized, and a regional rail line must become a reality. The city’s priorities should be safe streets and retaining young residents, Penske said.
“I’m passionate about our city. … Momentum is there,” Penske said. “I think we have real opportunities.”
He said city officials should proceed with the consent agreement with the state because the next step is either an emergency manager or bankruptcy.
“We have spent far too much energy over the past decade focusing on who is in charge instead of focusing on solutions and revitalizing Detroit,” Penske said.
He said the private sector is willing to do its part and will continue to invest in Detroit if political strife can be minimized.
“We must remember there are no silver bullets, quick fixes or easy answers for our city,” Penske said. “It took Pittsburgh 30 years. We can’t wait that long in Detroit. … We must all get on the same page.”