Proposed Consent Agreement Sparks War Of Words Between The State And Its Largest City

By Vickie Thomas

The barbs are flying over a controversial consent agreement proposed to help get the city of Detroit’s financial house in order.  The proposed agreement would set up a nine member advisory board with broad powers.

As written, the plan would strip Mayor Dave Bing and the city council of all budgetary authority.

Bing thumbs his nose at the proposal saying he will not answer to Governor Rick Snyder or an advisory board.  “Why the hell would I sign it?” Bing told an audience gathered at Wayne County Community College District in downtown Detroit.  “I was not voted as mayor of this city to have to report to the governor,” he said.

– View a copy of the consent agreement (.pdf format) –

Bing said the proposed consent agreement, in his eyes, is an emergency manager.  “But instead of one, we have nine,” he added.

City Councilman Kwane Kenyatta said the mayor put it mildly when he said Snyder has been disingenuous.  “I would say he’s declaring actual war on the city of Detroit,” Kenyatta said of the governor.

The councilman goes on to draw a line in the sand.  “If the governor wants to come in with the state troopers to bring his financial manager in, because that’s what he’ll have to do … I don’t think that we give up the keys,” he said.  Kenyatta added, “This is the city of Detroit and you’re not going to just walk a financial manager through the front door or back door without resistance.”

Kenyatta acknowledges that everyone needs to, “cool down for a minute.”  While he said he will not support any consent agreement, Kenyatta said he would like to work on the action plan Bing put forth to deal with the city’s financial crisis.

Meanwhile, a coalition of religious and community leaders is planning to fight back in a series of demonstrations to protest the proposed consent agreement.  Stay tuned.

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