DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is “tremendously disappointed” in the state’s proposed plan to handle the city’s finances crisis.
In a statement out Tuesday afternoon, Bing called the consent agreement “unacceptable.”
“… this consent agreement proposed by Governor Snyder does not represent the spirit of partnership needed between the City and the State to resolve the City’s financial challenges. It forfeits the electoral rights of the citizens of Detroit guaranteed by the democratic process,” said Bing in a statement out Tuesday.
– View a copy of the consent agreement (.pdf format) –
Bing said the state and city leaders are not as close to reaching a deal as Snyder has implied.
“After my team and I reviewed the agreement, (State Treasurer) Andy Dillon was informed, and I, personally, called and spoke with the Governor Monday morning to let him know the proposal was unacceptable. It was the only time he and I spoke after the meeting.
“He’s being disingenuous when he says this agreement leaves elected officials in charge of the City. In fact, the proposed, nine-member advisory board selects and “oversees” the functions of the City’s COO, CFO and Human Resources director – not the elected Mayor,” Bing said.
Bing said the proposed consent agreement will not solve the city’s problems.
The cash-strapped city received an ultimatum on Tuesday when state officials delivered a proposal that would consolidate public utilities, shrink city staff and trigger the appointment of an emergency manager if its terms were contested or left unmet.
Detroit’s water department, lighting department and public bus system are all among the items being targeted in the consent agreement.
WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reports that the proposed deal calls for the creation of a 9-member “super advisory board,” as well as the appointment of a Chief Operations Officer, a Chief Financial Officer and a Human Resources person. Those people would all report to the mayor, but be overseen by the board.
The plan isn’t going over well with some members of Detroit City Council, either. (More on this here).
State Senator Virgil Smith has urged council members to reject the agreement, alleging that this plan is “worse” than a state takeover under the emergency manager law, which Smith said may soon be defunct.
“It is clear that the Snyder administration is trying to circumvent the legislative process by any and all means. The Governor’s Emergency Manager Law is undemocratic and this agreement is also undemocratic,” said Smith in a statement.
“The governor knows that there is a good chance the Emergency Manager Law might be overturned, therefore, on line 18 of the executive summary, they specifically state that they are attempting to ‘survive the potential suspension of Act 4.’ Therefore, this agreement is really not a better solution than an emergency manager; it is actually worse. I urge my colleagues on the Detroit City Council to vote against this plan,” he said.
The plan isn’t going over well with some members of Detroit City Council, either. Joann Watson called it “unconstitutional” and “illegal.” (More on this here).
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said Gov. Snyder called the agreement a “draft” saying that he wants to find a middle ground.