Financial emergency declared in Detroit, state-appointed manager possible

Michigan governor's announcement paves way for possible state-appointed emergency financial manager in Detroit

Published On: Mar 11 2013 12:17:50 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 01 2013 05:41:59 PM EST
Detroit money crisis graphic
DETROIT -

Snyder March 1 Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a financial emergency in Detroit, a determination that could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager over the city's finances.

Snyder on Friday said it was "sad day" and that his decision on whether to appoint an emergency manager will come after the city's 10-day appeals process.

He said Mayor Dave Bing's office already has been notified of a March 12 hearing date.

Watch: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's response to Gov. Snyder's EFM decision

He said Detroit used to be the most prosperous city in the country.

"We went from the top to the bottom," he said. "It's time to say we should stop going downhill."

Snyder said it wasn't so much about the city's negative financial numbers, but it was about the lack of quality services that were being offered to its residents.

Residents are "suffering," he said.

Snyder said there hasn't been any people or plans that have been able to turn Detroit around in the last 50 years.

"Let’s build Detroit and do it as a team. Let’s show the rest of the world that Detroit was the best," Snyder said.

READ: Fact sheet on Detroit's financial emergency

Snyder said he already has a candidate in mind for the emergency manager position, but declined to release details about that person.

A week ago, a state-appointed review team determined that Detroit is in a financial emergency, and Snyder had been mulling whether to appoint someone to confront the city's $327 million budget deficit and $14 billion long-term debt.

The state takeover is short of a formal bankruptcy, but the emergency manager who would have many of the same powers as bankruptcy judge to throw out contracts with public employee unions and vendors that the city can not afford.

The state review board issued a report saying the city faces a cash shortfall of more than $100 million by June 30, and that long-term liabilities, including unfunded pension liabilities, exceeded $14 billion. Detroit has been borrowing to continue operations and would have fallen about nearly $1 billion short last year if it hadn't issued new debt.

READ: Detroit review team finds 'financial emergency' in city

The review team stated that while the mayor and city council deserve credit for some difficult financial reforms, "those reforms are too heavily weighted toward one-time savings and apply only to non-union employees who represent only a small portion of the city's overall wage and benefit burden."

The review team therefore found that an emergency exists in the city "because no satisfactory plan exists to resolve a serious financial problem."

IMAGES: Facts & Figures about Detroit's money troubles

Published On: Mar 01 2013 12:36:30 PM EST
Detroit general fundSIZED
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