DETROIT (WWJ) – The state review team looking over the financial books in Detroit has scheduled meetings with Detroit City Council — but it’s not without controversy.

The group, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, is set to meet privately with council members next Thursday in groups of two or three to avoid violating the open meetings act.

Councilman James Tate believes attending the voluntary meetings is important to the city.

“In terms of recommendations they would take from this body … I don’t know if it’s just lip service, but you don’t get that unless you actually have an opportunity to sit down and look at someone eye to eye and ask that question,” said Brown. “So, for that reason, that reason alone, I’m going to be meeting with them.”

As enacted, a new state law allows the governor appoint such a team to conduct a review.  And then, if the team deems it necessary, take over a local government 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.

Council last year passed a resolution rejecting Public Act 4 as unconstitutional and that’s why Councilwoman Joe Ann Watson has refused to attend.

The review team includes State Treasurer Andy Dillon, Dr. Irvin Reid, retired president of Wayne State, Dr. Glenda Price, president emeritus of Marygrove College, and Ike McKinnon, retired Detroit police chief, among others.

Brown said the team has asked that council members not discuss the content of the meetings with the media.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing met with the team earlier this week. (More on this here).

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