Politics
9:16 pm
Tue May 31, 2011

Showdown looms over Detroit budget

The Detroit City Council has set up a meeting to override Mayor Dave Bing’s likely budget veto.

Bing said last week he’ll veto the Council’s budget proposal. He has until the end of this week to do so.

The two sides are at odds over the Council’s decision to cut an additional $50 million from Bing’s proposed budget.

Bing says that would lead to Police and Fire Department layoffs. But City Council President Charles says that’s not true.

“Police and fire can absorb those cuts. They’ve got millions of dollars just sitting dormant in their budgets in vacant positions. And they overspend in overtime every year.”

Pugh says the only place he would consider restoring money to the budget would be for transportation. He hopes the Mayor and Council can have an “informal dialogue” at this week’s Mackinac Island Policy Conference and bridge some differences.

Bing has also said it’s dangerous for the city to try and tackle its budget deficit in one year.

Councilman Ken Cockerel agrees, but says Detroit needs to show the state it’s serious about resolving its fiscal problems on its own.

“I think you at least have to take a substantial step toward trying to fix the problem this year, because I think that sends an important and strong message to the Governor and to the State Treasurer in Lansing.”

Cockerel says if some projected revenues in Bing’s budget do materialize, he can always ask Council to put that money back in the final budget.