Angry Residents Heckle Detroit Mayor At Meeting
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing faced jeers and chants of “Liar! Liar!” during a raucous public meeting.
Bing and administration officials addressed several hundred residents at the Northwest Activities Center in Detroit Thursday night. The meeting was the second of a dozen Bing must hold this year under the city charter.
The crowd’s fervor threatened to end Thursday’s meeting and at one point the deputy mayor tried to step in to calm the crowd.
“Please, if you don’t allow us to talk, we can’t have the meeting,” Kirk Lewis shouted in a frustrated tone. “I think it’s important that we settle down and let’s have a discussion here.”
Earlier, Detroit police officers marched around City Hall to protest a new contract imposed this month on city workers by Bing.
The contract cuts wages by 10 percent and requires workers to pay 20 percent of their medical costs.
“Every person on salary took a 10 percent cut. It never happened, it never happened, it never happened to police and fire,” Bing said over jeers from the crowd. “Now that we have the budgetary problems that we have, there’s no way that we can fix the city without everybody participating in the pain. No way around it.”
Bing later the crowd “there is no negotiation to sell Belle Isle,” referring to the state proposal to operate the park under a 99-year lease.
Before a consent agreement was reached with the state, Detroit was on course to be more than $400 million in debt, and was reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy.
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