Detroit

Politics
10:05 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Decision day looms for the city of Detroit

State and city leaders have been working to avoid an emergency manager appointment in Detroit, but so far, no deal has been reached.
user jodelli Flickr

Today is deadline day, according to Gov. Rick Snyder. He wants the state financial review team to tell him whether they recommend an emergency manager for the city of Detroit.

After the financial review team makes its recommendation, Snyder has ten days to make his decision on whether or not to appoint an emergency manager, something he's repeatedly said he does not want to do.

He'd rather reach a consent agreement with the city, but so far, city leaders and state officials have not reached a deal.

State Treasurer Andy Dillon and city leaders have been working over the weekend to come up with an agreement. They've been meeting despite Detroit Mayor Bing's hospitalization for a perforated intestine.

The Detroit Free Press reports Kirk Lewis, Bing's chief of staff, "has been made deputy mayor and will act as mayor until Bing is able to resume his normal activities."

The mayor is in regular contact with Lewis, who is talking with Dillon and his officials, so Bing's hospital stay is not expected to prohibit an agreement from being reached, she said.

The Free Press reports Gov. Snyder will be in Detroit today to meet with council members and other officials.

Snyder is expected to talk to the media at 1:30 p.m. today about Detroit's financial crisis. We'll have an update for you then.

Much has happened on this story in the last few weeks. For a look back, you can check out all the stories we've produced here. And you can check out a quick list of recent events published this morning by MLive's Jonathan Oosting.

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Politics
10:37 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Court of Appeals allows Detroit and review team to continue negotiations

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Detroit officials and a state financial review team are free once again to try and reach a consent agreement. The Michigan Court of Appeals tonight unanimously overturned an Ingham County Court judge’s order that prohibited the two sides from working out an agreement before Monday’s deadline.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Judges dismiss challenge to Michigan House redistricting

New congressional district maps close up of southeast Michigan.
Michigan House of Representatives

DETROIT (AP) - A coalition of labor and civil rights groups appears to have lost a lawsuit challenging new boundaries for Detroit seats in the Michigan House.

A three-judge panel said a majority was in favor of ending the case, and a written opinion will follow. The judges heard arguments Friday on the state of Michigan's request to dismiss the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims the new map is illegal because it dilutes the political representation of minorities and forces some black incumbents to run against each other in Detroit this year. The boundaries were approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican.

John Bursch of the attorney general's office defended the map, noting the 10 House seats in Detroit have a majority black population.

Politics
1:47 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Detroit unions agree to pay cuts amid city's financial crisis

Downtown Detroit at night.
user pablocosta wikimedia commons

In a deal announced today, a coalition of unions representing thousands of Detroit city workers said their members approved 10 percent pay cuts and other changes.

The Associated Press reports "the deal announced Friday affects at least 4,500 workers and still needs approval from the city council."

It does not cover the unions representing Detroit police officers or Detroit firefighters. Those unions are in separate talks.

Absent cuts or added revenue, the city is expected to run out of cash sometime in April.

The cuts are intended to hold off a state takeover of Detroit through the appointment of an emergency manager, or though a consent agreement.

The Detroit Free Press reports the question of whether these cuts are enough remains to be seen:

Under the current agreement, the city would save about $54 million a year in concessions — less than half what Mayor Dave Bing originally wanted.

Other savings include $14 million in layoffs and about $100 million in new revenue by aggressively collecting past due taxes and parking tickets, but those were plans already underway before the negotiations.

An attorney who assisted in the negotiations for the coalition of unions, Richard Mack, said "we are going to make sure the city gets back in the black within a year."

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wants to hear recommendations on Monday from the state's financial review team about whether the state should step in with either an emergency manager or a consent agreement.

But the legality of the review team is getting tangled up in the courts. An Ingham County judge found that the state's review team violated the Open Meetings Act. The state appealed the ruling, which is now being reviewed by the appeals court.

Politics
12:35 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Michigan appeals court considers Detroit finances timeline

Downtown Detroit
user andrea44 Flickr

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Court of Appeals is considering a case that would influence how quickly the state may decide what to do about the city of Detroit's troubled finances.

The appeals court has set a deadline of Friday afternoon for certain briefs to be filed in the case.

The state is trying to overturn Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette's ruling that Michigan officials can't enter into a consent agreement with Detroit until he gives further orders. Collette has ruled a state review team analyzing Detroit's finances must comply with the Open Meetings Act.

Collette set a March 29 hearing in the case. But Gov. Rick Snyder wants the review team to report to him by Monday with the recommendation of a consent agreement or an emergency manager for Detroit.

Politics
12:43 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Behind Detroit consent agreement, it's all politics

Governor Snyder and other state officials have told Detroit this week it needs to accept a consent agreement to avoid going broke.

A draft agreement has been presented to the City Council. It would give the state a great deal of say in how Detroit is run.

But lots of politics stand in the way of reaching an agreement.

The consent agreement State Treasurer Andy Dillon has crafted for Detroit—the only “official” proposal out there right now--can be seen in one of two ways.

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Commentary
10:54 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Can Detroit Work It Out?

If you were listening to the rhetoric yesterday, you might easily have concluded that there is little chance of Detroit accepting the governor’s proposal to save it from an emergency manager.

Two days ago, Gov. Rick Snyder put forth a proposal for what is being called a “consent agreement,” under which most of the mayor and council’s powers would pass to a nine-member financial advisory board, which would then run the city, possibly for years.

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News Roundup
7:52 am
Thu March 15, 2012

In this morning's news headlines...

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Detroit leaders not consenting to Snyder's consent decree plan

On Tuesday, Gov. Snyder and state treasurer Andy Dillon put forward a plan to rescue Detroit's finances. Almost immediately the plan was rejected by city leaders. They said the proposed plan would strip them of their power. "Why the hell would I sign it?" Bing said when appearing before a group of students yesterday.

More from the Detroit Free Press:

Bing, Snyder, council members and Detroit ministers took to the airwaves and podiums Wednesday, keeping Tuesday's dust from settling.

Bing, in an uncharacteristically combative tone, said the state's proposed consent agreement to fix the city's deficit is unconstitutional and will undermine progress being made by his administration.

Snyder described the criticism as "unfortunate."

Both men defended their positions Wednesday, and at times, both seemed disappointed, frustrated and irritated.

The Free Press reports Bing and city council leaders are working on a counter-proposal.

Gov. Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley plan to hold a press event at 10 a.m. this morning "to discuss Detroit’s critical financial situation."

Gov. Snyder's higher education plan criticized by university presidents

Four university presidents testified in front of members of the State House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education yesterday. They were critical of Gov. Snyder's plan for higher education funding. Snyder's budget proposal calls for increases in state support if universities meet certain goals.

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said Snyder's proposal is not a fair measurement of success. From MLive.com:

“By all accounts, the University of Michigan is a world-class institution of higher education,” she said. “Yet, in the budget proposal that has been recommended, you could erroneously come to conclude that based on the performance measures that were evaluated; the university is a failing institution.”

Part of Gov. Snyder's proposal rewards universities for keeping tuition rates down. Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas said tuition rates are highly dependent on state aid. From the Detroit Free Press:

"It is a fact that the single greatest impact on tuition and debt is the presence or absence of state appropriation," Haas said. "If the state had been able to avoid cuts in the past decade, our tuition could be $6,000 a year instead of $9,000. If the state had been able to maintain the 75/25 ratio of long ago, our tuition could be just $3,000 a year, a number well within reach of nearly every qualified student."

Michigan's home foreclosure rate declining

It's good news for a state that has been battered by the economic downturn. Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports today "one in every 433 Michigan homes had a foreclosure notice filed against it in February." That's down 25 percent when compared to February a year ago.

The better statewide numbers are mirrored in the Detroit market (down 17 percent from January-down 27 percent from February, 2011), which has long been the epicenter of Michigan’s foreclosure problems.

The nationwide home foreclosure rate declined by 8 percent when comparing February 2012 to February 2011.

Politics
2:58 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Mayor Bing: I won't be Detroit's emergency manager

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Dave Hogg Flickr

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says he won't accept the position of emergency manager for the city even if it's offered by the state.

The mayor's remarks came Wednesday during a forum at Wayne County Community College District, one day after state officials delivered a proposed consent agreement for the city. The proposal was an ultimatum that would shift political power, consolidate public utilities and shrink city staff and salaries.

Bing says he disagrees with the proposed consent deal and had no input in the consent agreement proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Treasurer Andy Dillon.

Detroit is facing cash flow problems and a $197 million budget deficit. A state review team has already been digging into its troubled finances, and the governor could appoint an emergency manager.

Politics
1:28 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Governor Snyder urges Detroit leaders to accept consent deal

Detroit City Council chamber
City of Detroit Facebook page

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder is urging Detroit leaders to accept a consent agreement that would make them accountable to a financial advisory board, even though Mayor Dave Bing and some council members are unhappy with the deal.

Speaking Wednesday in Lansing, the Republican governor says the initial reaction from officials has been "go away."

He says it's a "cultural challenge" to get leaders to accept that the city can't fix its financial woes on its own.

Snyder could appoint an emergency manager, but prefers to reach a consent agreement he says would leave the mayor and council members in charge of policy. City leaders got details of the agreement Tuesday and found lots to criticize.

Bing called Snyder "disingenuous." Snyder says it's unfortunate "to make a personal attack out of this."

News Roundup
10:27 am
Wed March 14, 2012

In this morning's news headlines...

A little late coffee this morning...
user brother o'mara Flickr

Michigan-based bank among those to fail stress test

Ally Financial, headquartered in Detroit, made the Federal Reserve's list of major banks that failed to show they have enough capital to survive another serious downturn.

From the Associated Press:

The Federal Reserve says 15 of the 19 major banks stress-tested passed. The Fed noted that all 19 banks are in a much stronger position than immediately after the 2008 financial crisis. Still, SunTrust, Ally Financial and MetLife joined Citi in failing to meet the test's minimum capital requirements.

Ally Financial released a statement saying the Fed's analysis "dramatically overstates potential contingent mortgage risk, especially with respect to newer vintages of loans."

The Fed reviewed the bank balance sheets to determine whether they could withstand a crisis that sends unemployment to 13 percent, causes stock prices to be cut in half and lowers home prices 21 percent from today's levels.

Mixed reactions to Gov. Snyder's consent agreement plan for Detroit rescue

Yesterday, Detroit City Council saw a proposed consent agreement put forward by Gov. Rick Snyder and state treasurer Andy Dillon. The agreement proposes a financial advisory board, among other things, to help right Detroit's financial problems.

The initial reaction from many on city council and Mayor Dave Bing was negative - with several saying the plan takes too much power away from the city's elected leaders.

The Detroit Free Press gathered reaction from Detroit residents, which they say, was mixed. Here's one example:

Sherina Sharpe, 31, a lifelong Detroit resident who teaches writing, said she doesn't know what the best course of action is, but she wants to see the city flourish and isn't ready to shoot down proposed solutions.

"I'm open to solutions as long as they actually benefit the people who live here," she said.

You can read the agreement and weigh-in with your thoughts here.

Broadband deal reaches across Big Mac and into the Upper Peninsula

The Mackinac Bridge won't just transport people and goods, it will also transport large packets of information under a new deal announced yesterday. From the Associated Press:

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday announced a deal between the nonprofit Merit Network Inc. and the Mackinac Bridge Authority. It allows Merit Network to purchase strands of cable crossing the 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge for use in a fiber-optic broadband project called REACH-3MC.

The project is part of an effort to expand broadband access in Michigan. Snyder says it will help "serve job creators and the Upper Peninsula."

Changing Gears
3:33 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Blotting Update: Detroit wants to sell you this lot for $200

Sharon McClinton cares for the vacant land around her house. Detroit is trying to make it easier for residents like her to buy that land, too.
Kate Davidson Changing Gears

Apparently, the phone has been ringing off the hook over at Detroit’s planning department.

It’s all because of a few lines uttered by Mayor Dave Bing in his State of the City address last week. (You’ll find them about 30 minutes in.)

“This week we sent out over 500 letters to property owners in Hubbard Farms, Springwells Village and Southwest Detroit,” he announced, “telling them if they own a home adjacent to a vacant city-owned lot, they can purchase this lot for a mere $200.”

“No coming downtown,” the mayor said.  “No added bureaucracy. The city will mail back the deed.”

Bing’s initiative is a response to the overwhelming problem of abandoned property in Detroit.

It’s a problem we explored in our stories about Detroit “blotters” — which you can see here and here.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

State's consent agreement plan delivered to Detroit leaders

Update 3:02 p.m.

The state's consent agreement plan was delivered to Detroit city council today. Among other things, it calls for the establishment of a financial advisory board that would oversee actions by city council and the Mayor.

Detroit Mayor Bing does not like the plan, according to Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley.

And here's some reaction from Detroit city council members:

The Detroit News reports:

Earlier Monday, City Council member James Tate voiced this concern: "By no means am I pleased with what I saw." He and others declined to discuss specifics of what they had read.

Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown, a staunch supporter of the need for a consent agreement, said he had some reservations about the executive summary he read.

From a statement from Detroit City council member Virgil Smith:

“It is clear that the Snyder administration is trying to circumvent the legislative process by any and all means.  The Governor’s Emergency Manager Law is undemocratic and this agreement is also undemocratic.”

“The governor knows that there is a good chance the Emergency Manager Law might be overturned, therefore, on line 18 of the executive summary, they specifically state that they are attempting to ‘survive the potential suspension of Act 4.’  Therefore, this agreement is really not a better solution than an emergency manager; it is actually worse.  I urge my colleagues on the Detroit City Council to vote against this plan.”

And the Detroit Free Press reports that some council members have asked their attorneys to review the proposal, "saying a consent agreement is unconstitutional and anti-democratic."

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson went further, saying a consent agreement is like a death sentence to the city because elected officials lose power in the process. "In a consent agreement, you are consenting to your own demise. It's outrageous," Watson said. "Who puts a noose on their own neck?"

11:33 a.m.

Governor Snyder appeared on Detroit's WCHB Radio this morning and talked with Angelo Henderson about the consent agreement the state delivered to city leaders this morning.

Snyder said the agreement calls for the creation of a financial advisory board that would advise and sign off on proposals put forward by the mayor and city council.

"We would create a financial advisory board. Appointments would be made jointly by me, the city council, and the Mayor."

Snyder said those nominated to the board would have the required "turnaround" expertise. The board would be vetted by the Michigan Association of CPAs.

"It's not to run the city, it's to support the city. The mayor and council would still run the city," said Snyder. "There would be this additional review and sign off to make sure it's being done right."

Snyder said Mayor Bing has been working hard to solve the city's problems, but he hasn't had all the resources he's needed.

Snyder highlighted three things that he hopes will come as a result of the consent agreement:

  1. financial stability
  2. better basic services - public safety, bus service, lighting
  3. creating a positive vision for the city of Detroit - "let's build a better city," he said.

When he was asked about privatizing certain departments like the city's lighting department or the transportation department, or the city airport, Snyder said the city should explore ways to "partner with others" to improve city services.

Gov. Snyder said the state has increased revenue sharing with cities in the next fiscal year budget, but said more money is not the answer. "It can be in a situation where we're putting more money in a hole. We need to fix the basics in the city," he said.

The deadline for the city to sign on to the consent agreement is March 28, "I'm concerned about hitting that deadline, that's why I'm happy to talk with you," he told Henderson.

If the agreement isn't reached, the state could appoint an emergency manager to run the city.

As Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported earlier:

Detroit will go broke in the next couple of months, with a $45-50 million shortfall expected by early summer.

One Detroit City Council member who saw an earlier draft of the consent agreement said he's concerned that too much power will be stripped from council.

From the Detroit News:

"I'm interested to see how it changes," Tate said. "I certainly don't believe there's going to be a vote on it (today). I felt under the gun when I came into office. I felt under the gun in November. I feel under the gun now. But we absolutely do have to get our finances together."

Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown expects to the agreement to have a mix of things:

"I'm sure there will be things in the document that I get to see (Tuesday) that I absolutely cannot live with," Brown said. "There will be things that I certainly will be willing to negotiate. And there will probably be quite a bit of it that I certainly agree with 100 percent."

10:46 a.m.

The Associated Press reports the state's consent agreement plan aimed at correcting Detroit's troubled finances has been delivered to city officials this morning. The plan includes privatizing some services.

More from the Associated Press:

Councilman James Tate says the deal includes an advisory committee that would remove some power from elected officials. Tate says the consent agreement reads more like a "one-way edict."

If approved, the deal could keep the state from appointing an emergency financial manager in Detroit, which faces a $197 million budget deficit.

The Detroit City Council, Mayor Dave Bing and a 10-member financial review team were expected to assess the proposal. Council wasn't expected to vote on it Tuesday.

Snyder has said he prefers a consent agreement, which would allow Detroit to fix its own finances.

Education
1:26 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

East Detroit school gives 'white flight' warning

East Detroit High School
East Detroit Public Schools

EASTPOINTE, Mich. (AP) - A suburban Detroit school board member warns that his district's participation in a Michigan Schools of Choice program could lead to white students leaving the district.

On Monday night, the East Detroit Board of Education in a 5-2 vote approved opening the district to neighboring Wayne County schools, including Detroit and Harper Woods.

The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens and MLlive.com report board member Jon Gruenberg said Schools of Choice in other districts has caused a "second wave of white flight."

He predicted that could happen in East Detroit, where the number of minority students continues to increase.

East Detroit school officials long had opposed the Schools of Choice concept, but said the district needed to participate in order to survive financially.

Politics
12:22 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Bing unhappy, what do you think? Should Detroit take the consent agreement deal?

Part of the draft consent agreement obtained by the Detroit News.

Gov. Snyder and state treasurer Andy Dillon delivered their plan to Detroit city council this morning to turn around Detroit's finances.

The consent agreement calls for a financial advisory board with members appointed by the Governor, Mayor Bing, and city council to oversee decisions made by city leaders

The Detroit News reports that after negotiating with Gov. Snyder, Mayor Bing did not like the proposal, so Snyder decided to go straight to city council with the plan:

The governor and Bing neared a deal after a productive meeting Friday afternoon, and Snyder hoped an announcement could be made Monday morning, when the pair were scheduled to appear jointly at the Pancakes and Politics breakfast. But the mayor wobbled Sunday night, apparently concerned about giving away too much of his power, and Snyder decided to shoot the puck. He called Bing before the breakfast, told him he was taking the deal to council, and the mayor decided to skip the breakfast program.

Gov. Snyder said this morning that the city has until March 28 to decide on the consent agreement, after that, the Governor could decide to appoint an emergency manager to run things.

"We have offered every opportunity for the city to control its own fate," he said. "There's no point in this being adversarial. … But we don't have forever as an option."

So what do you think? You can read what others are saying about the consent agreement, or you can read a draft of the plan yourself and tell us what you think.

Should the city take this deal?

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Offbeat
4:04 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

George Takei "makes it so" at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this weekend

George Takei Facebook

4,887 "likes" and 217 "shares" on Facebook

Those are the numbers you get when you're the helmsman of the Starship Enterprise, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra hopes that will translate into tickets this weekend.

George Takei, a.k.a "Mr. Sulu" will be performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra tonight and this weekend.

From Takei's Facebook page:

In my dressing room with stellar soprano Kristen Plumley at Friday's sci-fi concert by Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly. We're also doing concerts on Saturday eve and Sunday afternoon. If you're in the Detroit area, please join us at Orchestra Hall!

Here's a description of the DSO's Sci-Fi Spectacular show:

Renowned pops conductor Jack Everly brings an out of this world production featuring music from Star Wars, Star Trek, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Day the Earth Stood Still and more. Complete with an appearance by Mr. Sulu himself, George Takei!

Politics
3:58 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Detroit Mayor Bing floats the idea of a $150 million state bridge loan

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Kate Davidson Changing Gears

Update 3:58 p.m.

Mayor Bing's office issued this statement in response to today's reports:

Mayor Bing has not asked Gov. Snyder for a loan from the state for  $125-$150 million. In response to a reporter’s question about whether he would ask Gov. Snyder for bridge funding for the city, the Mayor simply replied, "That's possible." When the reporter later asked how much he would like to ask for, the Mayor responded with the above mentioned range.

“The city continues to implement the financial restructuring plan the Mayor announced in January to save $102 million this year and $258 million in 2013,” said Kirk Lewis, Mayor Bing's chief of staff. “The savings to keep the city financial solvent will be achieved through the plan, including the ratification of previously announced tentative agreements with the city’s labor unions.”

1:44 p.m.

There’s discussion today about whether Detroit might ask taxpayers to help Michigan’s largest city through a cash crisis.

The city could run out of money in May, or sooner.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he might or might not ask the state for a $150 million bridge loan.

He said earlier this week in his State of the City address that some assistance from Lansing will be necessary to fix Detroit’s finances.

Governor Rick Snyder said he hopes a legally binding plan to get Detroit’s  spending under control will avert a state takeover.

Geralyn Lasher is the governor’s communications director.

“From the governor’s perspective, you have to have it to be a complete plan. Certainly, the dollars at the state level are extremely limited. We need to be very smart and efficient in how the dollars are spent.”

Lasher says a short-term cash infusion is out of the question without a long-term plan to balance the city’s budget.

Republican leaders have reacted skeptically to the idea. A state review team is expected to make its recommendations by the end of the month on whether the governor should name an emergency manager to run the city.

Politics
10:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Records: Detroit contractor extorted $58.5 million

DETROIT (AP) - Federal court records claim a Detroit businessman and ally of disgraced ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick obtained $58.5 million by extorting contractors and through other illegal conduct.

The allegations surfaced in a seizure warrant affidavit that was unsealed Thursday and reported by The Detroit News.

The affidavit provides the most detailed account to date of the alleged trail running through the racketeering conspiracy case against Ferguson and Kilpatrick. It says Ferguson spent a fraction of the cash on his kids' college education, his girlfriend and construction equipment.

Ferguson's attorney, Gerald Evelyn, said he hadn't read the affidavit but has challenged FBI searches in a separate bid-rigging case against Ferguson.

The 43-year-old Ferguson is awaiting trial in separate federal corruption and bid-rigging cases.

Detroit
6:44 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Detroit mayor to ask Mich. for $125M-$150M loan

Ifmuth Flickr

Update 7:15 a.m.:

Bing spokeswoman Naomi Patton said in an email to The Associated Press on Friday morning that the mayor has no such specific plans, however, to seek the help from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

Original post:

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing plans to ask the state of Michigan for a $125 million to $150 million loan to shore up Detroit's finances and avoid a state-appointed emergency manager.

Bing's plans to seek the help from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder were reported Thursday evening by The Wall Street Journal following an interview with the Democratic mayor.

The Detroit News reported Friday that Bing's office confirmed the plans. Bing spokeswoman Naomi Patton tells the newspaper a request hasn't yet been formally made to Snyder.

The Associated Press sent emails Friday morning seeking comment from Patton and the governor's office.

Detroit faces cash flow problems and a nearly $200 million budget deficit. Bing and Snyder have said they would prefer to avoid an emergency manager. A consent agreement is a possibility.

Politics
3:01 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Consent agreement may be part of Detroit's future

DETROIT (AP) - A high-stakes game of political brinksmanship could result in a consent agreement that keeps a state-appointed emergency manager out of Detroit.

But elected officials and municipal unions first would have to agree on concessions aimed at shoring up the city's financially-battered books.

Gov. Rick Snyder says he prefers a consent agreement with the city, which faces cash flow problems and a nearly $200 million budget deficit.

A consent agreement likely would include stiff requirements and still could lead to a manager if Detroit fails to comply. But it could help keep civic pride intact while retaining local control.

Mayor Dave Bing for months has used the threat of an emergency manager to cajole city unions into accepting wage and health benefit reductions. Deals have been reached but remain un-ratified.

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