DETROIT (WWJ) – One Detroit mayoral candidate is saying the state is exaggerating the figures in Detroit’s finances as an excuse to appoint an emergency financial manager in the city.
Candidate Lisa Howze said her years as a corporate CPA with experience in municipal finance and auditing gives her unique insight on this issue. And she does not believe the bleak picture painted by Governor Snyder and State Treasurer Andy Dillon, that included billions of dollars in long term liability debt.
“If you have an untrained ear and untrained eye – you will believe that. But my experience begs to differ,” Howze said.
Howze said the state’s figures on Detroit’s finances were distorted as an excuse to talk about appointing an emergency financial manager.
She says the problems are large but not insurmountable, with better management at the top of the list.
“Where the state can be supportive is helping the city of Detroit with legislation that will allow us to collect more of our income tax revenues,” she said.
She will unveil her findings on the city’s finances Wednesday that resulted from a three-month investigation.
While another local civil rights leader wants the state to explore other options besides appointing an emergency financial manager in Detroit.
“If the government of Michigan is not willing to bring financial resources to the city of Detroit to eliminate barriers which prevent city officials from carrying out their fiscal responsibilities or from raising new revenues or pay the money that the city is already due – if the government is not ready to partner with the city as opposed to taking over the city then this is simply another exercise in futility,” said NAACP branch president Rev. Wendell Anthony.
Anthony said the state’s help would be welcome in the areas of job training, reducing the high insurance rates but not an EFM.
“An emergency manager is not going to resolve the issues in Detroit in 18 months – we know that – which means we’ll find ourselves extending and extending as we’ve done in other situations,” said Anthony. “He or she is going to have to work with the local people, in order to do anything that going to have to be done… we believe that we should partner with the state, we should not be taken over.”