Detroit Financial Advisory Board starts work, first step of consent agreement

Union contracts could be biggest hurdle facing Detroit by the end of June

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DETROIT - Nine members of the new Detroit Financial Advisory Board were sworn in on Friday by City Clerk Janice Winfrey and heard presentations from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Michigan Treasurer Andy Dillon and other top officials in the mayor's office.

The board members were told by the mayor that public safety is his top priority, followed by lack of street lights, improving city recreation centers and DDOT city bus service.

Treasurer Andy Dillon told board members that labor costs are on the table as union contracts for 10,600 city employees expire at the end of June.

The board will work with the mayor, city council and state officials to help Detroit solve its financial crisis as part of the consent agreement between the city and the state.

Members of the board are a mix of private sector and past government service leaders who are appointed by the state, mayor and city council.

No major decisions are expected today and future sessions have not been scheduled.

The board did hold a closed session to discuss the potentially sensitive issues of union contracts.

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