With Detroit facing serious money troubles, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder took tough questions about the fight for control in the city in a face-to-face meeting with residents and community leaders 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.”
City Council votes on plan to borrow cash
On Tuesday, Detroit City Council approved a $137 million bond issue by a 6-3 vote.
Lansing and City Council sources have been telling Local 4 that the budget and "deficit elimination plans" submitted to the state months ago are not worth the paper they are written on.
Sources say the numbers and the plan which Detroit leaders submitted to Lansing were comprised of numbers and suppositions which made no sense.
Privately, several City Council members echoed the same thing. It's no surprise that the Detroit Financial Review Team's multi-page report calls those plans unrealistic and says "city officials either had been incapable or unwilling to manage the finances of the city."
That's the backdrop to the ongoing negotiations between Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis and the state, and it's up front and center at City Council.
Many City Council members were not thrilled with agreeing to borrow $137 million through the sale of bonds.
"But it's a struggle for me to try to borrow our way out of this," said City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown.
City Council President Charles Pugh said he approves the bond transaction with "trepidation" if it will help avoid payless paydays for city workers.
However, according to Mayor Dave Bing's team, the money is a key cornerstone in stopping the city's cash flow problems.