Detroit Mayor Bing says Governor may announce Emergency Financial Manager Friday
Gov. Rick Snyder to hold news conference
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said Thursday he believes the governor will announce plans for an emergency financial manager on Friday.
Bing spoke with reporters at the Detroit Regional Chamber's policy conference and said he had talked with Gov. Rick Snyder by phone earlier in the day about the situation.
Snyder is expected to make an announcement Friday.
READ: Detroit leaders await governor's decision on EFM
Snyder said last week a decision would be coming on what to do with the city after a review team report revealed Detroit's financial emergency.
READ: Snyder: EFM decision for Detroit may come next week
Bing has placed the city's current budget deficit at about $327 million. The report given to Snyder Tuesday by the state-appointed review team said the accumulated deficit as of June 30, 2012, would have topped $900 million if Detroit leaders in recent years had not issued bonds to pay some of its bills.
READ: Detroit review team finds 'financial emergency' in city
Long-term liabilities, including underfunded pensions, is more than $14 billion, and in recent months the city has relied on bond money from an escrow account to meet its dwindling cash flow needs and to pay city workers.
The review team also said that because of its cash deficit the city would have to either increase revenues or decrease expenditures, or both, by about $15 million per month between January and March to "remain financially viable."
Snyder has described the city's predicament as "quite dire" and pointed to Detroit's massive loss of people since the 1950s. The city's population dropped from about 1.8 million then to just over 700,000 in the 2010 U.S. census.
With the decreased numbers of people, property and businesses taxes also have dropped.
"We need to grow the city of Detroit," Snyder said. "That's the answer here and it's going to be really hard. I want to make sure people understand how difficult this is going to be."
But he insisted that the situation is "solvable," if the city works with the state and an emergency manager if one is appointed.
"The solution to this problem is not going to be by people fighting with one another, or blaming one another," Snyder said. "Who is going to want to stay in the city of Detroit? Who is going to want to move to Detroit, if all they hear are fighting and blame?"
Under current state law, emergency financial managers have charge of the city's budgets, spending and other financial decisions. Those responsibilities now fall to elected mayors and city councils.
Bing last year submitted a restructuring plan to the state. He has said an emergency manager would encounter the same problems, broken systems and roadblocks he's had to endure.
READ: Detroit mayor offers response to review team findings
He said the city needs money. Snyder doubts that would be coming from state coffers.
"I don't see the state coming to do a massive bailout," the governor said. "That's not the answer here."