Thursday, March 29, 2012

Michigan Governor Sees Hope for a Deal With Detroi

DETROIT — With time running out on this city’s dismal finances and tensions bubbling over, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan said Monday that he was hopeful a deal could still be worked out in the next few days to avoid appointing an outside emergency manager to run Detroit.

A loud, defiant crowd shouted and chanted lines like “No takeover!” during a meeting on Monday of a team appointed by the state to study the city’s financial circumstances, making it nearly impossible to hear the team’s somewhat unsurprising conclusions: that Detroit, Michigan’s most populous city, is in severe financial stress and that, so far, no plan has been adopted to fix it.
Representatives from the state and the city have been meeting around the clock in recent days and were expected to continue doing so on Tuesday. Though the most extreme option for handling the city’s financial distress — bringing in an outside manager — has been taken in other smaller Michigan cities, it is clear that no one, not even the state-appointed review team, wants to make that unpopular, symbolically fraught choice, even as city coffers are set to run out of money soon.
“I think we are on a path to see some real results here,” Mr. Snyder, a Republican, said Monday of the talks between state and city representatives. “My preference has always been to say let’s come up with some mutual agreement. I don’t want an emergency manager.” At another point, Mr. Snyder said, “My role is not to run the City of Detroit.”
But an agreement of some sort between the state and the city would require compromise — and fast. Under a controversial state statute that allows emergency managers broad powers over financially troubled cities, Mr. Snyder has 10 days to decide whether to approve such a deal with Detroit or call in an emergency manager.
Up until now, representatives of the city and the state have not even agreed on what such a deal should be called. The state suggested a “consent agreement” that would create a board to approve Detroit’s budgets, the sale of its assets and any changes to city contracts, including those of unionized workers. Detroit officials balked at the plan, then offered their own “financial stability agreement,” which they are not discussing publicly.
Complicating matters, Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit is in a hospital, recuperating from surgery on Saturday to repair a perforation of his intestines. He is expected to be released within days, and officials said aides were negotiating with the state on his behalf.
Late Monday, city officials, like the governor, sounded optimistic. “Our goal is to have an agreement by the end of the week,” said a statement from Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis and Charles Pugh, the City Council president. “As Governor Snyder and Mayor Bing have previously stated, they do not want an emergency manager in Detroit, and neither do the citizens and elected officials in the City of Detroit.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

No comments:

Post a Comment