The Detroit City Council on Thursday debated details of a financial stability agreement between the city and Gov. Rick Snyder's office.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke to the council before it began its session, saying the city needed to be rebuilt and reinvested in.
Several council members voiced their disagreement, saying the state doesn't bring enough resources to the table. Several members also cited the ongoing fight over Michigan's Public Act 4, which has to do with emergency managers being assigned to oversee struggling cities.
Councilwoman JoAnn Watson called the agreement a "no-no," and said saying yes to it and saying yes to a consent agreement would be like saying yes to an emergency manager.
Councilman Kwame Kenyatta also expressed his concern.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement that the agreement lets him hire his own executive staff and outlines specific support from the state. The agreement is like a consent deal that lays out how Detroit plans to work its way from a $200 million budget deficit and long-term structural debt.
Once the council's comments are incorporated into the document, it will be reviewed with the state and returned to the council for approval.
If a deal is reached, Detroit would avoid the appointment of an emergency manager.
Statement from Detroit mayor, deputy mayor
This draft landmark agreement incorporates components of Mayor Bing’s existing Financial Stability Agreement, and was jointly developed by the Mayor’s office, the City Council and the State of Michigan.
“Today’s special session of the Detroit City Council to consider a resolution to approve a financial stability agreement represents a significant milestone in addressing the City’s financial crisis, decades in the making,” said Mayor Dave Bing. “It won’t get fixed overnight, but our partnership with the State will drive us as we remedy our financial crisis.”
Of critical importance to Detroiters, this agreement preserves Charter and Executive and Legislative powers, including allowing the Mayor to hire his own executive staff, and outlines specific support from the State.
The agreement also provides the necessary mechanisms to execute the plan and insure the City’s fiscal stability by:
- Creating a financial advisory board, advising the Mayor’s office and collaborating with the City to set yearly revenue targets;
- Requiring the City to adopt three-year budget;
- Creating a Project Implementation Office that reports to the Mayor and introduces a Project Manager to monitor and facilitate immediate project performance improvement; and
Providing a collaborative, performance-based process, ensuring the commitment of legislative support to improve City services such as the Public Lighting Department, the Department of Transportation and income tax collection.
Governor says he is 'impatient' about getting a solution in Detroit
In a Town Hall on Wednesday, Snyder said he isn’t the bad guy in Detroit’s financial crisis and wants to be a part of the solution.
He said he’s most concerned about the services in the city, or the lack thereof, and how it affects the people who live there. Snyder says a big part of the measure of Detroit’s success is how many people are how few people are moving out and how many people are moving in.
When asked if he was encouraged about the progress being made between the state and Detroit with a consent agreement, Snyder said, “Yes and no. I am encouraged to say there are positive things going on, that we’re moving on a path that people are talking about getting an agreement, getting something that we can put this behind us. Every day we spend doing more agreements, is a day less we’re doing implementation. That would be the no part.”
Snyder also said he felt like there wasn’t a good reason why “this wasn’t done some time ago.”