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Consent Agreement Counter-Proposal Sent To City Council By Mayor

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DETROIT (AP)- City officials expect to complete a final draft this week of a counter-proposal to a state-authored consent agreement aimed at helping Detroit pull itself from fiscal collapse.

The Financial Stability Agreement draft, prepared by mayoral and City Council staffers, was sent Sunday to council members, Mayor Dave Bing said Monday in a news release. He said the plan would include “an advisory board that provides the state a vehicle to monitor the city’s progress” and a “mechanism to establish a budget and limit spending.”

City officials declined to provide specifics beyond that, including how much – if any – control city leaders would give up to the board.

The proposal “is designed to provide a reliable roadmap for the city and state to collaborate in resolving the city’s short-term cash flow challenges and long-term structural changes,” Bing said.

Detroit faces a $197 million budget deficit and could run out of cash by the end of May.

Treasurer Andy Dillon last week gave council members a draft of the state’s consent agreement. That plan would create a nine-member financial advisory board largely appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Dillon. It also calls for three new executive positions- chief executive officer, chief operating officer and human resources director.

But Bing and some on the council slammed the proposal, saying it took too much control from Detroit’s elected leaders. Bing said his plan preserves “the rights of Detroiters to be governed by the city’s elected officials.”

Bing said his executive staff plans to meet over the next few days with council members to get their feedback.

A consent agreement is one option Snyder has in dealing with Detroit’s finances. Under Public Act 4, he also can appoint an emergency manager who would have the power to redo union contracts and dismiss elected officials.

Snyder has said he prefers entering into a consent agreement with the city.

A state-appointed review team analyzing the city of Detroit’s finances was expected to meet sometime this week. The team has until March 26 to make a recommendation to Snyder regarding Detroit’s finances.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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