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Bing Presents Deficit Plan To Help Avoid Takeover

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has presented a 5-year deficit elimination plan designed to help stave off a state takeover of the city’s finances.

Detroit faces a $155 million budget deficit. Bing has said the city’s payouts to two pension systems and health care costs need to be addressed. He met earlier this week with city union leadership and laid out Detroit precarious financial predicament to them.

Bing said Wednesday that the plan is a “strategic approach” to bringing stability to the city and must be done to “ensure Detroit’s survival.”

He plans to ask the unions for concessions.

Bing presented a $3.1 billion city budget to the city council last month. The council has started budget hearings and likely will ask Bing for more cuts to his budget plan. 

City Council President Charles Pugh tells WWJ the plan may not go far enough.

“I don’t suspect that there’s enough boldness in it. And so we’re gonna put that boldness in it.  We’re gonna work with the treasurer. We’re gonna work with the Governor’s office. We’re gonna work with each other around the table, and the Mayor’s office,” he said.

Pugh talked with about specific issues he’d like to see addressed.

“We need concessions from our unions on health care. We need movement from our pension trustees on all sorts of pension relief. We need concessions from our contractors and we need to reduce our workforce,” Pugh said.

Pugh said he expects the process to take no longer than a month.   

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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