State proposes consent agreement to rescue Detroit's finances

Plan includes privatizing some services; Detroit mayor opposes agreement

DETRIOIT - A plan aimed at rescuing Detroit's ailing finances has been delivered to city officials and includes privatizing some services.

The proposed consent agreement from Gov. Rick Snyder and Treasurer Andy Dillon was delivered Tuesday.

IMAGES: Detroit consent agreement details

Councilman James Tate says the deal includes an advisory committee that would remove some power from elected officials. Tate says the consent agreement reads more like a "one-way edict."

Read: PDF of Consent Agreement

If approved, the deal could keep the state from appointing an emergency financial manager in Detroit, which faces a $197 million budget deficit.

The Detroit City Council, Mayor Dave Bing and a 10-member financial review team were expected to assess the proposal. Council wasn't expected to vote on it Tuesday.

Snyder has said he prefers a consent agreement, which would allow Detroit to fix its own finances.

Mayor Bing announced in a news release Tuesday evening that opposes the consent agreement. In his release, Bing said the agreement "does not represent the spirit of partnership needed between the city and the state to resolve the city's financial challenges.

The mayor went on to call Gov. Snyder "disingenuous."

"The Governor has been disingenuous in his recounting of a near deal after our 4 p.m. meeting Friday," Bing said in the statement. "After my team and I reviewed the agreement, Andy Dillon was informed, and I, personally, called and spoke with the governor Monday morning to let him know the proposal was unacceptable. It was the only time he and I spoke after the meeting."

Read: Mayor Bing's full statement

The mayor said the governor also is disingenuous when "he says he's become frustrated by our lack of responsiveness.

"My team and I have been waiting for several weeks for the governor and his team to respond to the tentative labor agreements and for an offer of tangible financial and operation assistance," the mayor said.

Bing said he never asked for a consent agreement.

"But we've provided the governor with an action plan to resolve our financial shortfall, which we believe is reasonable and achievable with support from Lansing. This proposed agreement will not solve our problems," Bing said.

Snyder defended the proposal.

"Let's get something out there. Let's be very public about it. Let's have good public dialogue. Let's get a consent agreement done and let's get the city of Detroit back on track to being a great city again," the governor said.

City Council was not happy with what they were given. Besides City Council's objection to a financial advisory board, experts say the agreement would give Mayor Bing the authority to terminate union contracts.

"I think it's problematic on a number of levels," said bankruptcy attorney Mike Greiner. "I think it's illegal. I think that wee the case then we'd see collective bargain agreements with state going on all over the place."

The unions are already fighting the clause in court.

"I think it's atrocious," said AFSCME President Garrett. "They haven't given the city a dictator but nine dictators."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.