Detroit mayor: Takeover decision could come Friday
DETROIT — A review team scrutinizing Detroit’s poor finances could make a recommendation this week that will help determine whether there’s a state takeover of the city, Mayor Dave Bing said Tuesday.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed the team last month after Detroit was slow to fulfill promises to the state in a deal that allowed the city to avoid having an emergency manager take over its finances.
If the team determines Detroit is in a financial emergency, Snyder could appoint an emergency manager. Bing would have 10 days to appeal.
“I think the review team — maybe on the 11th or so — will go back to the governor with a recommendation,” Bing told reporters Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. “With that recommendation it will be incumbent upon the governor to make a decision as to whether or not to bring somebody else in or to let us keep going forward.
“Our goal is to keep going forward. I’ve said from the very beginning, we didn’t want an emergency manager.”
Detroit has struggled with its cash flow for more than a year and has a budget deficit of about $327 million.
After a bill signing Tuesday, Snyder told reporters in Lansing that his administration is talking with potential emergency manager candidates for Detroit in case one is needed.
“That does not mean we’re going to have an emergency manager,” he said.
The review team is the second appointed by Snyder to pore over Detroit’s books. A year ago, the first team stopped short of declaring a financial emergency, which would have provided the governor with the impetus to appoint a manager.
Instead, Snyder and Bing worked out a consent agreement last spring that would keep him on as mayor while providing some state support for Detroit’s restructuring.
The deal came without any direct state funding.
“I think we can manage our way out of this, but not without support,” Bing said Tuesday.
Bing has been stymied in some of his efforts by a City Council reluctant to rubber stamp some promises made to the state.
On Tuesday, he applauded the board for approving more than $7 million in outside legal and other contracts related to Detroit’s restructuring.
The nine-member council also voted 6-3 to approve Bing’s recommendation to remove Krystal Crittendon as Detroit’s corporation counsel. Bing said Crittendon will return to a position she held previously in the city’s Law Department.
Crittendon has been a burr in Bing’s side for months. He accused her of stalling his office’s movement toward fulfilling some requirements called for in the consent agreement.
She asked the state Court of Claims to overturn the consent agreement. A judge later dismissed the suit.
Bing asked Crittendon to resign in June. She refused.
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