DETROIT (WWJ) – The city of Detroit is closer to insolvency than first thought, with Mayor Dave Bing suggesting that an emergency financial manager might be in the city’s future.
WWJ’s City Beat reporter Vickie Thomas spoke one-on-one with Mayor Bing and he says with a deficit of $184 million and anticipated revenue down $150 million, the city has a financial crisis on its hands.
“Reality is that we can’t continue to spend what we don’t have and continue to increase the deficit. That’s what’s happened in the past and I don’t want to be a part of that,” Bing said. “It could mean layoffs. It could be departments shutting down altogether.”
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With the possibility of running out of cash by February Bing said Governor Rick Snyder could step in.
Bing said he will continue to push for concessions from city unions.
“It is that bad. If we don’t get some concessions, there’s no doubt in my mind the governor has the hammer to come in with a emergency manager if that’s what he wants to do,” the mayor said.
When Mayor Bing laid out his deficit elimination plan back in April there were already triggers that would have allowed Governor Rick Snyder to step in and appoint an emergency financial manager.
And in talking about the city’s finances, Bing said, “I think they’re worse because one of the things I looked at and I was hopeful that we would get into some negotiations with the unions, so that we could deal with two of the big elephants in the room for us and that would be healthcare reform and pension reform.”
“Their contract does not expire until June of next year and they’ve not come to the table and I can’t force them to come to the table.”
Bing said without concessions he believes an emergency financial manager will step in. However, he said he’s open to being that EFM if it comes down to it.