Detroit City Council mulling over financial plans

Plans include layoffs, funding and pay cuts

DETROIT - The Detroit City Council continues to mull over plans to help the city out of heavy financial troubles.

On Monday, the city's fiscal analyst director, Irvin Corley, presented three different plans for consideration.

The first plan lays off 1,700 city workers, 700 more than what Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has said he would do by next February. The plan also includes a 10 percent pay cut across the board and getting a private company to run the Detroit Department of Transportation -- all for a total of $87 million in savings.

The second scenario calls for 2,300 layoffs in the case unions don't take any concessions. It also calls for privatizing DDOT. Savings: $61 million.

The third plan cuts 2,300 jobs and takes big medical cuts, saving $94 million. 

"Unfortunately, you have to do layoffs and union concessions to get your biggest bang of the buck to deal with this cash crisis," Corley said.

Detroit City Council President Gary Brown said public safety cuts would be part of his plan.

"I'm thinking about more than 500 police officers, more than 300 firefighters," he said.

Detroit City Council member Ken Cockrel Jr. said he agrees.

"When you consider the magnitude of cuts that we're going to have to look at, the idea of holding police sacred and fire sacred, I don't realistically think you can do that," he said.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, the population in Detroit has seen an increasingly perilous plunge. Thirty years ago the city, had 1.2 million residents. In 1990, the population in Detroit had fallen by 200,000. By the year 2000, those numbers had fallen below one million. Today, fewer than 800,000 people live in the city's borders.

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