DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing met with the State Review Board on Tuesday as they work to decide whether an emergency manager should be appointed for the city.
Bing tells WWJ Newsradio 950 that’s still something he’d like to avoid, and he’s been meeting with union leaders trying to reach a budget deal.
“I’m sitting in a lot of meetings right now and I would tell you that I think they’re opened minded to change, finally, and it has to happen. We don’t have any options,” Bing said.
Speaking at the Detroit Economic Club event led by WWJ-TV’s “Michigan Matters” host Carol Cain, Bing reiterated that he does not think a state takeover is imminent.
“Detroit’s quite different. I mean, there’s no municipality in the country the size of Detroit that has either had a financial manager, an emergency manager or gone for bankruptcy,” said Bing.
“I am listening and my responsibility where I sit is to listen to my citizens, and the majority of my citizens in the city of Detroit have said we don’t want an emergency manager,” he said.
The state review will take about 30 days.
As enacted, a new state law allows the governor to take over a local government or school district by appointing an emergency manager to assume the authority and responsibility of locally elected officials. It includes the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements and even dissolve a unit of government.
Some have called the new law unconstitutional. On Monday, hundreds of people protested outside of Governor Rick Snyder’s Washtenaw County home in opposition to the law. (More on this, here).
All eyes will be on the governor Wednesday night when he makes his annual State of the State address.
Will he bring up the Detroit emergency manager issue?
“Well, it is the elephant in the room,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. “I don’t see how he can address the state of Michigan and not address the situation in Detroit.”
“I think he will try to lower the temperature of everybody and tell the city of Detroit and the rest of the state, ‘I don’t want to send in an emergency manager,’ he agrees with Dave Bing,” Skubick said.
Skubick said that if no budget agreement is reached Snyder may have to send in a manager, “But, he will likely say tomorrow night, ‘Don’t make me do this’,” Skubick said.
Stay tuned. You can hear the Governor’s speech live at 7 p.m. Wednesday on WWJ Newsradio 950 and here at CBSDetroit.com.