Detroit officials eye immediate, long-term money problems

May 10, 2011

The city of Detroit is ramping up efforts to cobble together a budget and a five-year deficit elimination plan. Detroit City Council members got a copy of Mayor Dave Bing’s deficit elimination plan Tuesday. The Council wants more cuts than Bing proposed. They say that’s necessary to avoid a possible state takeover of the city’s finances. Council President Charles Pugh says a Council work group believes the city should cut at least $120 million from the upcoming budget.

“I don’t feel we should stray too far from what our work group is recommending. And that’s an unfortunate situation to be in, but this is bad. We knew it was bad. We just don’t want an emergency manager to make this decision. We have to make it.”

The Council is scheduled to vote on the budget May 24th. It must also approve the longer-term deficit elimination plan before it gets sent to the state. Pugh admits city government has a lot of work to do within, and also with city unions and pension trustees. But he also expressed confidence that “we can do this.”