DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh says the city doesn’t need a financial manager from Lansing — it needs someone at City Hall to take charge.
“It’s time for the mayor to step up and make these tough decisions and the city council will support him because we know that we don’t need an emergency financial manager, we need some leadership on this issue from the mayor and from city council,” Pugh said during a live interview with WWJ Newsradio 950.
“We’re not in a place where we need an emergency financial manager. The mayor and the rest of us – city council, the city – we do need our unions to come to the table. June is too late. We need to talk about concessions and pension obligations and healthcare,” he said.
Hear WWJ’s interview with Charles Pugh:
Speaking one-on-one with WWJ City Beat reporter Vickie Thomas Thursday morning, Mayor Bing said, with a deficit of $184 million and anticipated revenue down $150 million, the city has a financial crisis on its hands.
Pugh feels part of the solution to Detroit’s cash problems has to include concessions from both city unions and city contractors, as well as increases in various fees and permits.
“We just raised the People Mover fare by 25 cents. I think we should have raised it by 50 cents to be quite honest, but those are nickel and dime answers to this problem. The big concessions we need are in healthcare and pension costs. And we need our unions to come to the table. We also need some of our contractors that we’re paying to do the same work for less,” said Pugh.
Pugh said there’s also money to be saved by cutting out inefficiencies, adding that too much time is spent by police and EMS chasing down false alarms. Pugh is calling for Mayor Bing to take the reins and lead the city through its current financial problem, saying that if he does, he’ll get council’s support.