DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A financial advisory board for Detroit is warning that the city could be broke in a few months unless Mayor Dave Bing moves faster and more aggressively to restructure city services.
The joint city-state board expressed frustration Monday during its monthly meeting at the pace of change in restructuring the police and fire departments and the bus system. Other areas include tax collections, pay cuts and reductions in health care and retiree benefits.
Board member Ken Whipple suggested the city consider fast-track hiring of an outside turnaround company, saying “At the present pace, I think the city is going to run out of money.”
Some Detroit City Council members are now urging the mayor to head the board’s warnings
Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said Bing and needs to move like their hair is on fire.
“We’re though the first quarter this years and we’re another $41 million added onto the deficit,” said Brown. “So I’m as frustrated as they art.”
The Bing administration says it has been strained by lawsuits challenging both the consent agreement and pay and benefit cuts.
The board was formed as part of an agreement earlier this year aimed at fixing Detroit’s troubled finances without a state-appointed emergency manager.
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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