Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) - The state’s special review team appointed to look at Detroit’s books as the city teeters near financial insolvency will meet with city leaders Tuesday — but at least three council members say they are boycotting the meeting.
Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said he and two of his colleagues refuse to meet with members of the state financial review team, an all-star cast of business and civic leaders appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to delve into whether Detroit needs an emergency financial manager.
Kenyatta said the council passed a resolution opposing the emergency manager law, so there’s no reason to cooperate.
“I have a non-participation, along with council member [JoAnn] Watson, who stated her position, as well as council member [Brenda] Jones. It seems as if the rest of the council feels that it is the law of the land, much like slavery was the law of the land, but it was opposed, it was fought against and ultimately it was eliminated,” Kenyatta told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas.
In fact, Kenyatta said Mayor Dave Bing should have slammed the door shut on the panel.
“Actually I’ve said that to the mayor, that I think he should have done a ‘George Wallace.’ He should have stood in the doorway, he should have forced them to go to court to get an injunction and we should have presented our case in court,” said Kenyatta.
The finance team, which includes a former Supreme Court justice, former college presidents and a former Detroit police chief, held their first private meeting earlier this month. Read more, here. If they decide Detroit needs a financial takeover, and Snyder agrees, an emergency manager could negate union contracts and even dissolve units of government.
Bing said the city won’t run out of cash by April as previously predicted, but the city does have a $45 million budget shortfall.
“There is no silver bullet that’s out here that’s gonna get us out of the present situation that we’re in,” Bing said earlier this month as he presented his financial plan to the Detroit City Council. “A lot of hard work is necessary. A lot of changes need to happen.”