DETROIT (WWJ) – Saying he “had no choice”, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has vetoed City Council’s budget.
“Council’s amended budget represents a stark departure from the priorities of this administration, to improve public safety and to provide a high quality of life and services for residents, businesses and visitors,” the Mayor said.
“Council’s amended budget will result in police and fire layoffs that take uniformed officers off the street,” said the Mayor, warning also that the cuts could also result in the elimination of Sunday bus service, shut down all people mover service and force the City to return millions in grants to the federal government.
– View a copy of Bing’s letter to Council – (Scroll down for video)
Bing contends that Council’s plan to slash an additional $50 million from his proposed budget would force him to lay off 200 Detroit Police officers — but Council President Charles Pugh continues to insist that’s not the case.
“We would be willing to accept budget amendments. I’m not so much concerned about the cuts we made to police and fire, because they do have money in their budgets to absorb those cuts without laying off anybody… They’ve got millions of dollars just sitting dormant in their budgets in vacant positions. And, they go and they overspend every year in overtime,” Pugh said.
Pugh does have concerns, though, about proposed cuts to city transportation.
“My concern it the $7 million cut to DDOT. So, I want to talk to my colleagues about either finding money elsewhere in the budget, or having a $43 million cut versus a $50 million cut,” he said.
Council is scheduled to meet back in Detroit on Monday and vote to override the Mayor’s veto. A super majority of six members is need for a veto override.
Calling for an end to the political stalemate, Bing urged the Council to work with his administration to adopt a final budget.
“We continue to have productive conversations with members of City Council,” said Bing. “Our residents deserve no less than the full cooperation of the Council and this Administration as we continue to work toward fiscal stability.”
Watch the Mayor’s veto message: