DETROIT (WWJ) – In a move to avoid an emergency manager and potential bankruptcy, the Detroit City Council has voted to approve a financial stability agreement with the state.
Council adjourned immediately following the 5-4 vote and there was no further comment by council members.
Earlier in the day, the state review team appointed to look into Detroit’s finances approve the a revised version of the document.
Both votes Wednesday come after weeks of back-and-forth negotiations and often heated discussion on the matter.
The council and review team meetings were packed with citizens and union representatives who are unhappy to say the least about state involvement in the city’s affairs. Some claim the team’s plan is unconstitutional, while others believe it’s a matter of “white supremacy.”
“You have failed the city,” said one man. “Failure is not acceptable. I support an emergency financial manager.”
Another man accused council of overlooking millions of dollars in concessions that city unions agreed to.
“… the unions, the coalition of unions, came to you with an agreement that would offer significant savings,” he said. “You know … I feel like the bus ran over us, and then it backed over us again.”
Gov. Rick Snyder had only until Thursday to make a final decision on the direction of the city. It was expected that if no agreement was reached, the governor would appoint a manager.
Wednesday evening, Snyder issued the following statement regarding the Detroit City Council’s approval the agreement:
“The council has acted responsibly to put Detroit on the path to financial stability. Approval of the consent agreement is a positive opportunity for the city and our entire state. It’s a clear message that we will move forward – and win – as one Michigan. We all want Detroit to succeed. This agreement paves the way for a good-faith partnership that will restore the fiscal integrity taxpayers expect and ensure the delivery of services that families deserve.
“While the council’s action is a positive step, there’s no doubt that much work remains. The magnitude of the city’s financial challenges means that many difficult decisions lie ahead. We must build on this spirit of cooperation and be willing to act in the city’s long-term interests.
“I appreciate the countless hours that Mayor Dave Bing and his staff, the City Council, the Financial Review Team, state Treasurer Andy Dillon and the rest of my team have devoted to achieving this agreement. Because of their tireless work, Detroit is poised to move toward being a great city again with improved services for its citizens and a foundation for future growth.”
Wednesdays votes were made possible after a Court of Appeals, in the morning, reversed an earlier Ingham County Circuit Court judge’s ruling that had cancelled any future review team meetings because a lawsuit said the team’s term had expired. In vacating the temporary restraining order, the appeals court said there is no time limit on the period of service for review team members and the complaint should be dismissed.
In another win for the state the same day, Federal Judge Arthur Tarnow denied a request by city union leaders for a temporary restraining order blocking a City Council vote. He said it is simply beyond the court’s authority to regulate political negotiations between the state and the city.
Detroit was expected to run out of money within weeks without state intervention.
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