Politics
11:04 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Detroit Council gets budget advice

The Detroit City Council heard some advice about the city’s budget situation Tuesday.

Council fiscal analyst Irvin Corley told them that Mayor Dave Bing’s proposed budget is “mostly reasonable.”

But Corley also warned that Bing’s proposal contains more than $200 million in “soft” revenue that might not materialize.

Corley says the Council should cut the Mayor’s budget further, and the two sides need to find an agreement that truly addresses the city’s fiscal problems.

“Council’s adoption of a credible budget and deficit elimination plan would send a strong message to investors, rating agencies, and most importantly to the citizens, that the local officials are making thenecessary decisions to address the city of Detroit’s financial problems.”

Council member Gary Brown agrees the city needs to take radical action, or risk having the state take over its finances.

“This budget takes baby steps. We need some bold action. We have to do it upfront. In our four-year tenure, this is it. We don’t get to do this again next year.”

Brown has voiced support for the idea of a consent agreement that would give Mayor Bing powers similar to an Emergency Financial Manager's.

But most Council members say they’re afraid that action would trigger the process for putting the city’s finances under state control.