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Detroit Council Approves Six-Figure Salary For CFO

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit is preparing to pay big bucks for a Chief Financial Officer and Program Management Director under a consent agreement with the state.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s staff recommended a salary cap of up to $380,000, including benefits for the CFO — but City Council objected.

“I do believe that it’s too high,” said Councilman Andre Spivey. “I don’t think we can compare this to private sector. I think we look really at, specifically at, municipalities having a CFO.”

City Council members on Tuesday voted to set  a maximum annual salary at $220,000 for each position.

Council President Charles Pugh said he tried to get the state to agree to help pay for the positions.

“That was a major source of discussions. And, you know, I mean, at some point, you know, banging your head against a brick wall won’t do you any good. It will leave you a big mohican (mohawk) and some brain damage,” said Pugh. “So, at some point you have to accept reality.”

The state has, however, agreed to pay half of the cost of the nine member Financial Advisory Board.

In an effort to avoid an emergency financial manager, a cash-strapped Detroit early this month came to an agreement with the state to handle the city’s finances.

The discussion got a little heated when the consent agreement came up at Tuesday’s council meeting. Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins was singled out by members of the public for being one of five council members to vote in favor of the deal.

“I want every single person who comes here challenging our reasons for voting to tell me that they read every page to Public Act 4,” Jenkins said.

Detroit was expected to go into bankruptcy without state intervention.

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