Bing: State must offer Detroit "tangible support" to avoid cash crisis

Mar 8, 2012

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says the city is “at a critical and pivotal time like none in Detroit’s history."

But during his third annual State of the City address, Bing gave few details about how he’ll deal with the city’s most immediate threat: running out of cash.

Bing said both he and Governor Snyder “agree that an emergency manager is not the best option” for Detroit.

But Bing says the city does need “tangible support” from the state.

“We need approval to implement the executed tentative labor agreements," Bing said. "We need financial and operational support. We need changes in legislation to support our overall plan.”

Bing has hammered out tentative cost-saving agreements with the city’s major unions. But they have yet to be ratified by members.

But the state could grant Detroit’s elected officials powers to impose new contracts and make other sweeping changes through a consent agreement.

That’s seen as an increasingly likely option for the state to help Detroit get through its cash crunch.

State Treasurer Andy Dillon, head of the review team looking into Detroit's finances, says they're "working with the city to make sure they have the resources they need" to get through the fiscal year.

Asked whether a consent agreement or similar measure was in the works, Dillon said: "We're working toward that...the goal has always been to get to an intermediary step, which is often called a consent agreement."