Deadline passes, and still no plan to keep an emergency manager out of Detroit

Jan 31, 2012

Detroit’s elected officials had hoped to resolve some big questions about the city’s financial future Tuesday.

But that didn’t happen.

Both Governor Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing say the only way for the city to avoid an emergency manager is to get big union concessions.

Bing had hoped to get those concessions by the end of January. But the self-imposed deadline came and went without a deal.

In the meantime, the Detroit City Council met to discuss drastic actions the city might have to take if no agreement materializes soon.

Council President Charles Pugh says the city will have to make drastic choices--like closing down all the city's recreation centers, privatizing EMS services, and laying off up to 2300 city employees.

The question is, would you want to keep open a rec center, or would you want to lay off a police officer?" Pugh said. "And we may have to do both.”

“We’re at a critical time now, where we can’t afford to not make tough decisions. To be quite honest with you, that kind of draconian measure is where we are as a city.”

However, Pugh defended boosting the salary of his top staff member to $44 an hour.

Pugh says the aide has taken on more responsibility as he’s cut back on office staff, and cut his budget by 20%.

But the Council meeting to talk this all this over didn’t last long--Pugh adjourned the meeting after about half an hour, with only four Council members present. Five are needed for a quorum.