We don't know what the Department of Justice is trying to force Ferguson to do, because they won't tell the citizens and have told the City administration not to disclose anything about the negotiations.
But the rumors circulating in the City suggest that the DOJ is trying to use Ferguson as a social experiment, an opportunity to engineer a dream city that will be a testimonial to the spirit of their recently retired leader.
The DOJ has asked about changing city election dates, eliminating housing code enforcement and when the Police can charge people with certain crimes. And a great many of these suggested (mandated?) changes will impact the quality of life for the residents of Ferguson - they will undo much of the effort the city administration has put towards making Ferguson one of the most livable communities in the St. Louis area. The increase in police funding that the DOJ is pushing for will, at best, cause the city to cut back on other important services, and at the worst possibly bankrupt Ferguson.
Sometimes it feels as the if the Department of Justice has decided to require so much of Ferguson just so that the City will go bankrupt, and start the process of de-incorporating the many small communities of St. Louis County. The problem, of course, is that the residents of Ferguson like living in Ferguson - we like the community, we like the people, we like the well-maintained yards, and the idea that we aren't just some part of St. Louis County. We don't want to see our City go away.
Ferguson understands that it needs to continue to evolve, that we have issues that need to be addressed. Ferguson wants to move forward - we want to turn our City into a shining example of how a city can come together to create a more diverse and cohesive community. But we want it to be OUR experiment, not the Department of Justice's.
That's all we are asking - let the residents of Ferguson decide the shape of our City.