DETROIT (WWJ) – A state review team has determined that a “severe financial emergency” exists in Detroit, meeting the threshold necessary for the state to appoint an emergency manager. The team voted 9-0 Wednesday afternoon during a public meeting in Detroit.
The next step: Gov. Rick Snyder will determine whether an emergency manager is appointed.
City and state officials have been trying to forge a consent agreement that would prevent an emergency manager from being appointed in the city. Detroit faces a nearly $200 million deficit and the specter of possible payless paydays.
Before Wednesday’s vote, review team member and former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Conrad Mallett Jr. said the city’s “old way of doing things has got to stop.”
When the panel opened up the floor to public comment Wednesday, Detroit citizens in attendance questioned the motives of those on the review team.
“Shame on you. All of you,” said one woman. “We’re not going to give in. You can sit around this table and come up with the right decision for the person who wants to take our city because we’re under siege. We’re not going to go away,”
Said a man, “All I’m saying is we’ve got a city council that we can’t trust, we’ve got a mayor we can’t trust, we’ve got a governor that we can’t trust, and we’ve got a review team that we can’t trust. So, what we’d like to know if what’s gonna be the process?”
In another development Wednesday, State Treasurer Andy Dillon said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and City Council have presented the panel with a proposal of their own, although he hasn’t seen it yet.
“I’m kind of excited to get back to my office and see what the city presents,” Dillon said.
Expected to appear in that proposal is a request by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing
“We want to control our destiny here. So we don’t want to give up the authority,” Bing said. “What I came in this office to do was to help fix a broken system, a broken city and it has not been an easy job.”
“It’s time for us to come together and get to try to get this done,” he said.
The panel will meet on Thursday to review the city’s proposal.
The city is expected to run out of money in May.