Detroit financial decision could come in next 48 hours

City facing $200 million budget deficit; City Council defers consent agreement vote on Tuesday

DETROIT - The Detroit City Council has deferred a vote on a consent agreement between Detroit and Gov. Rick Snyder.

Council's decision on Tuesday means members could still return Wednesday to vote on whether to authorize a revamped financial stabilization agreement that could stave off state receivership.

City Council has scheduled a 10 a.m. Wednesday meeting.

The agreement would have to be authorized by a financial review team that's been ordered by an Ingham County judge not to meet. State officials filed a challenge Tuesday to that order with the Michigan Court of Appeals.

But time may be running out for Detroit's elected leaders to retain any control over the city's finances. Snyder has until Thursday to decide if Detroit will get an emergency manager.

Under Public Act 4, an emergency manager can dismiss Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council.

The city faces a $200 million budget deficit and $13.2 billion in long-term structural debt.

Mayor Dave Bing has been negotiating with state Treasurer Andy Dillon on the proposal, which allows the mayor's office and City Council to retain its authority under Detroit's City Charter.

The deal would create a nine-member financial advisory board. That board would monitor the city's fiscal restructuring.

The mayor's office said in a statement Tuesday it expects Gov. Snyder to move ahead with a decision on Thursday. The mayor's office wants a vote from City Council.

"We appreciate the seriousness with which the Detroit City Council is deliberating," said Deputy Maror Kirk Lewis. "This is one of the most critical decisions in this City's history. However, Mayor Bing and the administration believe Gov. Snyder will act on Thursday, April 5, according to law, regardless of any related, current legal challenges to the process."

Detroit review team meeting squashed

The 10-member financial review team for the city of Detroit was scheduled to hold a public meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

However, the Michigan Treasury Office of Communications announced Monday evening that the meeting has been canceled due to a temporary restraining order issued by Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk.

Activist Robert Davis requested the restraining order which bars the review team from meeting Tuesday or making any decisions.

Davis is challenging the team's right to meet because their term has run out.

Department of Treasury spokesman Caleb Buhs had said Tuesday's meeting would have been within a 10-day period that Gov. Rick Snyder has to decide what to do with the city's financial future since the deadline was expanded on March 26.

The team can meet during that 10-day period to settle on a consent agreement. If the team gets together a consent agreement they will send it to the city of Detroit for approval.

The Michigan Attorney General's office said it would file another emergency appeal Tuesday morning, but that will wait until Wednesday.

Davis, a Highland Park School Board member, filed lawsuits to prevent the state and the city of Detroit from entering into a consent agreement. Those lawsuits were smacked down by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

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