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May 16, 1974 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-05-16

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Thursday, May 16, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

rhuraday, May 16, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Five

Model
By ERIC SCHOCH
Daily News Analysis
Second of three parts
For most of us the year is
twelve months long. For the De-
partment of Housing and Ur-
ban Development (HUD), how-
ever, an "action' year in the
Model Cities program can last
much longer than a calendar
year.
For the Ann Arbor Model Cit-
ies program the first action
year in fact dragged on for
nearly two years. Underlying
this long period of implementa-
tion of the first year's pro-
grams were conflicting view-
points over what form citizen
participation should take and
how well the Policy P:
handling its responsibilities.
IN THE FALL of 1970 t h e
first action year started, and
Model Cities received a grant
of $1,069,000 to begin setting up
and operating programs. By
June 30, 1972 only a little more
than half of the money had been
expended. Why?
"We wanted. to do something
different," says former Policy
Board member Albert Wheeler.
"You could go out and hire a
skilled professional this and pro-
fessional that, and get t h o s e
programstmoving. But we never
believed that was what Model
Cities was about.
"The whole program was a
demonstration to get untrained
citizens more involved in their
government, and so it seemed
totally antithetical to have all
those professionals in there run-
ning the program. Disillusion-
ment with us grew basically be-
cause we weren't getting a mil-
lion bucks in here each year."
GETTING a "million bucks"

Cities control fuels dispute
in each year was not as import- would tell Rowry what Rowry Wheeler calls the charge a make too many of the decisions
ant as setting up the programs thought." "red herring" and adds that themselves and not delegating
carefully and with citizen in- The result, says one critic, "the directors we got were not any authority to the administra-
volvement according to the Pol- was a terribly slow process in necessarily that skilled. They tive director. T-erefore, it is ar-
icy Board members. which a person requesting a de- were educated, but they didn't gued, the Policy Board as an
Policy Board chairman Ezra cision from the Policy Board know any more about Model experiment in citizen participa-
Rowry argues that he "never might be told that "the man Cities than we did." tion failed in Ann Arbor precise-
liked to put the emphasis on -ho isn't here tonight who isn't ly when it was in control of the
speed. The idea is to get people officially thinking about it but WHILE arguing that it is dif- program.

involved and understanding the who is the guy who is really
'The whole program was a demonstration
to get untrained citizens more involved in
their government, and so it seemed totally
antithetical to have all those professionals
in here running the program.'
-Albert Wheeler, Policy Board member

situation, learning how to act
as a policy making group."
"If you respect people, s a y s
Wheeler, "you want them to get
the kind of knowledge and con-
cern that they can say, 'I don't
need Al Wheeler, I don't need
Ezra Rowry, I can do this for
myself.' "
POLICY BOARD critics have
charged, however, that the de-
lay was not due to "teaching un-
trained citizens how to func-
tion as a board, but rather be-
cause Wheeler and Rowry want-
ed to make all the decisions
themselves.
"Everything would get hung
up because any decision could
not be made until Wheeler made
it, that's where the power lay,"
says one city Democrat. "The
Policy Board really meant the
board's executive committee,
which really meant that Rowry
would ask Wheeler and Wheeler

thinking about it is thinking
about it and he hasn't had
a chance to make a decision
yet. "
ALTHOUGH he would not
speak to The Daily about Model
Cities, former mayor Robert
Harris has stated publicly that
the Policy Board went beyond
the bounds of making policy into
the realm of day-to-day admin-
istration and thus did not allow
the director enough autonomy.
"If you treat the director like
an errand boy you can't get
anything done," Harris has said.
In court testimony in 1972
showed Harris testified that the
second City Demonstration
Agency (CDA) Director, Wil-
liam Stewart, used to "cry on"
his shoulder about the "woes
of being an executive director
under a board that dabbles end-
lessly in administration."

ficult to separate policy making
from administration, Rowry
does admit that he was given to
"hanging around" the adminis-
tration office and perhaps got
"on people's nerves." He did so,
he says, to rid the program of
"fraud," pointing to what he al-
leges were personnel applica-
tions which had "forged inform-
ation."
In addition to trying to ensure
citizen involvement the Policy
Board was attempting to guar-
antee that money spent would
go for services, claims Policy
Board member Theodore Beals.
Wheeler and Rowry, he says,
"were being very careful and
watched very closely over how
everything developed. T h e y
were convinced that if they did
not watch it carefully it would
get into the hands of people who
just wanted to get the money
out of it and not the services."
Critics of the Policy Board
have thus charged that the
board, especially its leaders
Wheeler and Rowry, unnecessar-
ily delayed the implementation
of the programs by wanting to

ROWRY and Wheeler deny
that they weredtrying to hold too
much power in the program and
say delays were necessary if
the program was to really test
the effectiveness of citizen par-
ticipation.
"Our major concern all the
way along was that people
would learn to deal for them-
selves and not be bought off by
some emergency services," says
Wheeler. "We could have got
a million bucks each year by
just rubing off some crap on
paper and sending it in and be-
ing nice fellows with HUD.
"But the position of us on the
Policy Board was to hell with
the million dollars, you've
bought and sold too many black
and poor people already."

U' business prof says
nat~ional economy i1s OK
Despite downturns in consum- basic government policies are
er spending and in housing the supporting an expansion.
economy remains strong and On the recession issue, M c -
the outlook is for improvement, Cracken writes that "the score-
business administration P r of. card definition of a recession
Paul McCracken reports in Eco- has come to be known as a two-
nomic Outlook USA, a quarterly quarter decline in real output.
publication of the University's This oversimplifies a complex
Survey Research Center (SRC). economic development. A re-
McCracken, former chairman cession is a condition of fairly
of the President's Council of generalized weakness across the
Economic Advisers, notes in his economic spectrum.
lead article that "the important "The weaknesses have tradi-
thing to say at this point about tionally been particularly severe
the economic outlook is that we for the capital goods industries,
do not face a recession in any and a substantial part of the
meaningful sense." decline is apt to be caused by
an inventory turnabout f r o m
ONE REASON for optimism, accumulation to liquidation. And
McCracken says, is that energy the decline must be long enough
is going to be less of a drag on to establish that it is more than
the economy than many had a month-to-month or quarter-to-
feared. Another, he ads, is that quarter wobble."
e
Micehign
D aily
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Circulation Dept. . . 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
764-0558
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Please try to coil our offices during these
hours.

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