DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit City Council now has a detailed version of Mayor Dave Bing’s proposed budget, which includes more than 2,500 job cuts. That’s in addition to the 1,000 cuts that Mayor Bing had earlier sought.
City Council President Charles Pugh says every department will feel the pain.
“Some of them [the cuts] will be coming from Council. Some of them will be coming from every department,” said Pugh. “We have to do this. And we’re simply going to have to do the same level of service, or more service, with fewer people. Which means we’re going to have to be creative.”
Some of the city’s workforce reduction will come though early retirement and attrition.
Bing’s chief operating officer Chris Brown said those reductions would mean a $250 million savings to the city. Brown said the city’s general fund revenues will decrease from $820.5 million to $739 million.
Brown also said that a big change will be coming to the city’s recreation department — suggesting that management might be outsourced.
“Recreation is fundamental to the citizens, and we’re not looking to reduce that,” said Brown. “The question is … do we have the funding or is it provided by someone else?”
Councilwoman JoAnn Watson isn’t sold.
“There’s more than one way at looking at achieving fiscal stability,” she told other council members on Monday. “We need to challenge our own information, we need to read, we need to glean from other cities and we need to respond to the needs of our citizens.”
Bing’s budget proposal also calls for privatizing the city’s bus system (DDOT) and transferring the public lighting department to an independent authority.
Detroit has an accumulated budget deficit of $265 million and $13.2 billion in long-term, structural debt and is trying to fix its finances after agreeing to state oversight.
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