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Detroit Leaders Advance Efforts To Avoid Emergency Manager

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Some of Detroit’s top officials met with union reps behind closed doors Wednesday to talk about a financial fix in an effort to avoid the appointment of an emergency manager.

City Council President Charles Pugh said they’ll need everyone at the table to get this done.

“We can’t just have certain unions sacrificing and then elected officials don’t, and then our police and fire don’t, and then our business community, citizens — everybody needs to sacrifice,” said Pugh. “We have the capacity, we have the expertise, and we have the cooperation now, at least we hope, to get this done without state intervention.”

The State on Tuesday began a 30-day review of Detroit’s finances, a move that doesn’t definitively mean that an emergency manager will be appointed.  However, Mayor Dave Bing this week said he believes an emergency manager is the city’s only way out of its current financial problems.  He said the city will run out of money by spring if major cuts are not made.

Mayor Bing, Police Chief Ralph Godbee, Fire Commissioner Don Austin were among those who met at Cobo Center with union leaders.

Pugh said he and his colleagues were there as well.

“We’re here to observe. We’re here to support when we can, but, legally, we cannot bargain,” said Pugh. “But, we’re here to make sure that we sent a message that we also are sacrificing and that we have a stake in this matter as well.”

State Treasurer Andy Dillon said the initial financial review would take 30 days. Afterwords, the team will make a recommendation about what to do next.

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