Politics
4:52 pm
Mon June 13, 2011

Bing ups the ante in Detroit budget battle

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has raised the stakes in his ongoing budget battle with the Detroit City Council.

Bing and the City Council have been sparring over how much to shave off the city’s budget. The Council wants to cut $50 million more than Bing.

Last week, the Council overrode Bing’s veto, meaning its budget is set to go into effect July 1.

But Bing says those extra cuts “won’t solve” the city’s fiscal crisis. Now, he’s released information laying out what he calls “the truth” about how they’ll affect city services.

Bing has said all along that the cuts will weaken the Detroit’s Police and Fire Departments.

But he now says the Council’s action will also shutter the downtown People Mover, and cause the city to lose almost $100 million in federal transportation grants.

The Mayor says it also means the end of sponsored events at Hart Plaza, a popular riverfront spot, and closing many parks facilities.

Bing called on the Council to “reach a compromise” before the start of the new fiscal year. But most Council members have previously said they’ll only put money back in the budget if Bing can produce solid revenue.

Bing issued the following statement:

 “These cuts won’t solve our fiscal crisis.  My administration reduced spending by $200 million in this budget and we did so responsibly, without hurting public safety or eliminating transportation services and park maintenance.  We have to tell people the truth about the service reductions that we’re facing if we don’t reach a compromise.”