Report: Detroit to run out of money by April

Nov 15, 2011

Detroit will run out of money in the first half of next year unless the city cuts its budget, the Detroit Free Press is reporting. From the Freep:

A closely guarded report on Detroit's finances paints an alarming picture of a city that will run out of cash by April unless officials make immediate, painful reductions that will cut deeply in to public services. The report, obtained by the Free Press, outlines some drastic scenarios that illustrate how steep those cuts must be for the city to stay afloat…

The problems are so severe and immediate, restructuring experts said, that the state may have no choice but to appoint an emergency manager with the authority to gut union contracts, sell assets, restructure the government and end nonessential services.

“The mayor plans to speak Wednesday at 6 p.m.,” about the city’s financial situation, the Associated Press reports. As the AP notes, “It's possible that Detroit's poor health could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager with sweeping authority to make changes.”

Governor Rick Snyder would decide if, and when, to appoint an emergency manager for the city. The Detroit Free Press spoke to Geralyn Lasher about the city’s situation. Lasher is Communications Director for the Governor. Lasher, “doesn't know the specifics of what Bing plans to talk about Wednesday, but Snyder is committed to working with Bing and the city to prevent the need for appointment of an emergency manager,” the Freep reports.

Earlier this month, Mayor Bing said, in an interview with The Detroit News, that, if asked by Governor Snyder, he would consider becoming the city’s emergency manager. “I’m giving that serious thought,” The Detroit News reported him saying.

A day after Bing made that statement, Detroit City Council members spoke out to The  Detroit News. “Council members and union officials… blasted Mayor Dave Bing's suggestion that Detroit might need him in the role of emergency manager, saying they aren't ready to ‘wave a white flag’ in the city's fight for fiscal survival,” The Detroit News reports.

Detroit Public Schools are currently under emergency management. Roy Roberts serves as the school district's emergency manager. He was appointed by Governor Snyder in May 2011. He took over from former Emergency Manager Robert Bobb.