ByÂ Andrea Billups-The Washington Times
In Detroit, battle lines are being drawn between the mayor and the city council over ways to keep the Motor City out of bankruptcy and what some fear will be a state financial takeover under a new provision in Michigan law.
Since last week, when MayorÂ Dave BingÂ offered a tough-love prescription to fix the cityâ€™s mounting financial crisis, the backlash has been festering along with a impending reality that cuts will be deep and city services will be further slashed or privatized â€” if the city is to continue to manage itself out of a dire fiscal hole that could see it broke by summer or even sooner.
â€œIf we continue down the same path, we will lose the ability to control our own destiny,â€Â Mr. BingÂ warned in an urgent speech last week.
On Friday, 21 of 26 police officers from Detroitâ€™s Northeastern District cut short their 4-8 p.m. shift in a symbolic â€œblue flu,â€ sending a message that they are a force to be reckoned with in any future negotiations, even as the mayor seeks a 10 percent cut in wages and benefits for police and firefighters.
Mr. BingÂ hopes to avert the stateâ€™s new emergency financial manager law, which would cede local control to an independent leader appointed byÂ Gov. Rick Snyder. But the mayor has added that such a turnover is inevitable if drastic changes are not quickly implemented and city departments and their powerful unions donâ€™t agree to significant cuts aimed at cutting a $45 million deficit.
The mayor, who said he hoped to minimize service losses in key agencies like police and fire where response times have drawn previous criticism, announced Friday 1,000 citywide layoffs to begin in February. He plans to meet with department heads Tuesday to plan a strategy for the job eliminations.
Meanwhile, however, the city council, which has frequently opposedÂ Mr. BingÂ during his tenure as mayor, says he didnâ€™t go far enough.
Despite his warning that they donâ€™t run the city, the council will unveil its own plans Monday for salvaging the cityâ€™s finances that include slashing up to 2,300 city jobs if unions donâ€™t agree to wage and pension cuts along with selling city parking lots and buildings, privatizing some service jobs, and ending city support for cultural entities such as the Detroit Zoo, the Detroit Institute of the Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Mr. Snyder, Michiganâ€™s Republican governor, issued a statement afterMr. Bingâ€™s speech last week, saying he was committed to avoiding the emergency financial manager scenario but said he expected the city to ask for an initial preliminary inquiry, the first step in theÂ EFMÂ process.
Under theÂ EFMÂ law, a takeover manager could void union contracts as a part of the repair strategy, a notion that sent labor protesters to picket Thursday outside the city government headquarters.
â€œBased on the mayorâ€™s remarks tonight and the severity of the situation he described, we anticipate he will be submitting a request for a preliminary financial review in the near future,â€Â Mr. SnyderÂ said last week.
While the police sick-out is under investigation from internal affairs, others around the state expressed concern over how Detroitâ€™s woes make the state as a whole look to the world and much-needed future investors.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/20/detroit-faces-state-takeover/
Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!
We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.