Politics
5:38 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Detroit City Council responds to threatened service cuts

The Detroit City Council appears to be standing firm in an ongoing battle with Mayor Dave Bing over how much to cut from the city’s budget.

The Council wants to cut more from the budget than Bing to chip away at the city’s roughly $155 million accumulated deficit.

But Bing says that’s irresponsible. This week, he warned the $50 million in additional cuts that Council wants will shut down parks, some bus service and the Detroit People Mover.

Bing says the Police Department will also have to cut officers. But Councilman Gary Brown, a former police officer, says that’s nonsense.

“There’s no correlation between layoffs and $8 million being cut out of your budget when your budget is $334 million dollars. We all could go over there today and show them where they could find $8 million.”

Brown adds that the city’s 46 other unions have had to take significant pay cuts, but police and fire haven’t been asked to “sacrifice one dime.”

Council President Charles Pugh calls the Mayor’s warnings “scare tactics,” but says Council is still negotiating with the Bing administration. The two sides have until July 1 to reach a deal before Council’s budget kicks in.