State Takeover? Snyder To Announce Detroit EFM Decision Friday
DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says Gov. Rick Snyder will be in Detroit on Friday to make an important announcement about the city’s financial future.
He’s expected to tell city leaders whether or not he agrees with his review team’s assessment that Detroit needs an emergency financial manager.
Bing said he spoke with Snyder Thursday morning.
“The governor’s been saying that the direction that he wanted to go in … I think what’s important is … too many people think the city can come out of this by themselves. I’ve never been one who thought like that. I’ve never fought help; I’ve never pushed back. I’m a team player.”
When asked whether Snyder will announce the name of an EFM, Bing said no. He also said this is the governor’s announcement to make — not his.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says even though the EFM appointment is not exactly a done deal — it is headed in that direction.
“If there isn’t any reason for the governor to change his conclusion, then that would result in the governor being on a path to pick an emergency manager,” Skubick said.
Under state law, the city has 10 days to appeal the governor’s conclusion and request a hearing on the review team’s findings.
President of Rainbow Push Detroit, D. Alexander Bullock, said he hopes the mayor will ask for that hearing.
“If [an EFM] comes to the city of Detroit, he’ll face, I think, a lot of opposition. There are a number of community stakeholders that don’t believe that’s a move in the right direction,” Bullock said. “I think there are a number of questions that could come out in a hearing that at least would help to begin to build the kind of relationships that need to be forged in Detroit to help us with a successful turnaround.”
Detroit City Council member Sheila Cockrel thinks, while an EFM may not be the only solution, it appears to be the quickest way to address the city’s financial problems.
Cockrel points to a recent local newspaper article about the city’s pension system, calling it very sobering.
“It would suggest by 2017 some, I don’t know, 30 or 40 cents of every dollar in the general fund would have to go to pay pensions,” Cockrel said. “How do you provide service? Those are the kinds of structural issues that have to be addressed, that the constraints of political office, seem to me, make it hard for people to be able to address — in an election year, particularly.”
Whatever happens next, Cockerel says, she hopes it will reach a point where they can forge a collaborative relationship between the state and city.
Detroit is billions of dollars in debt and has a budget deficit topping $300 million.
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