Michigan officials are hearing a longshot appeal from Detroit City Council members who dispute the state's declaration that the city has no plan to adequately fix its fiscal crisis.
Chief Deputy Treasurer Mary MacDowell is presiding as Gov. Rick Snyder's designee over the hearing that is under way Tuesday morning in Lansing.
MacDowell will report back to Snyder, who will review the appeal before deciding whether to reverse his financial emergency declaration. He is expected to stand by the finding, then appoint an emergency manager to oversee Detroit's finances.
City Council is arguing that it has made progress on 20 of 25 initiatives in a consent agreement reached with the state last year.
The city has a budget deficit of $327 million and long-term debt topping $14 billion.
Mayor Dave Bing also questions the assertion that Detroit has no good plan to handle its fiscal problems, but decided not to join the council's appeal.
"It is simply a fight that we cannot win at the 11th hour and a 30-minute appeals hearing," said Bing. "We must take the most productive course of action so as not to prolong the battle knowing what the outcome will be."
Bing released this statement on Tuesday:
"As I indicated last week, I am in agreement with City Council in disputing the Governor and state financial review team’s assertion that my administration does not have a viable plan to deal with Detroit’s fiscal crisis. I also agree with City Council that there are inaccuracies in the financial review team’s report. However, I did not agree with Council’s decision to appeal the financial review team’s findings today in Lansing, because I do not believe it will change the Governor’s decision to appoint an Emergency Financial Manager. Today, I have chosen to set the record straight in a different manner. I am releasing a progress report on our Restructuring Plan, which has been in place for well over a year."