Mass meeting in opposition to the imposition of emergency management in Detroit on January 2, 2012. The event was held at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church on the westside. (Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
State to give Detroit City Council consent agreement Tuesday
4:56 PM, March 12, 2012
By Kathleen Gray
Detroit Free Press staff writer
The state will submit consent agreement language to the financial review team that is studying Detroit’s finances and the Detroit City Council tomorrow.
"The state Treasurer’s office has been the lead in developing the consent agreement, but it is a result of ongoing conversations with city officials,” said Geralyn Lasher, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s office said although the mayor has not been formally notified by the governor of the financial review team’s recommendation, discussions about the content of a proposed consent agreement have occurred.
“The Mayor feels a consent agreement must be structured, ‘so the City can keep running the City,’ as Gov. Snyder said earlier today,” Krik Lewis, Bing’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “The city’s restructuring should be a collaborative effort between the city and state with core authority to carry out the agreement" remaining with the city.
Bing believes the consent agreement the governor plans to present to the City Council tomorrow should include a process based on accountability and transparency, Lewis said.
The city has until March 27 to come up with a consent agreement that can be approved by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, the state and the city council to avoid the appointment of an emergency manger to run the city.
Snyder said this morning to a Detroit audience that he still prefers a consent agreement over an emergency manager, but he also expressed frustration with the pace of the city in developing solutions to the growing fiscal problems in Detroit.
“I’ve have been happy to do this agreement for months, but you have to have somebody on the other side to agree,” he said. “We’re running out of time.”
“Let’s have it so the city can keep running the city,” Snyder added. “Let’s put together an agreement.”
He wouldn’t elaborate on what the consent agreement will include other than to say it would ensure the financial stability of the city and keep in mind what the city can actually afford.
March 12, 2012
State confirms Detroit to get proposed consent agreement Tuesday
By LEONARD N. FLEMING AND KAREN BOUFFARD / The Detroit News
Detroit— City officials on Tuesday will be presented with a proposed consent agreement that Gov. Rick Snyder wants Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council to adopt to address the city's fiscal crisis, the governor's office has confirmed.
City Council members are to receive the state's version of the agreement before their formal session Tuesday.
"I can confirm that the consent agreement language will be presented to the Detroit Review Team and City Council tomorrow," Snyder spokeswoman Geralyn Lasher said in an e-mail to The Detroit News.
Lasher said Bing has already seen the agreement.
"We've been having ongoing conversations with the mayor, and council members will see it (tomorrow)," Lasher said.
Kirk Lewis, Bing's chief of staff, said in a statement today that "although we have not been formally notified by the governor of the financial review team's recommendation, we have had discussions about the content of a proposed consent agreement."
"The Mayor feels a consent agreement must be structured, 'so the city can keep running the city,' as Gov. Snyder said earlier today," the statement said. "The city's restructuring should be a collaborative effort between the city and state with core authority to carry out the agreement remains with the city.
"The mayor believes the consent agreement the governor plans to present to the city council tomorrow should include a process based on accountability and transparency."
Snyder prefers a consent agreement, which would set benchmarks for cost-cutting and privatize some city functions, over sending in an emergency manager. Detroit, saddled with a declining tax base and myriad financial problems, is expected to run out of cash next month and has a projected $48 million deficit for May.
At an appearance this morning at the "Pancakes & Politics" breakfast at the Detroit Athletic Club, Snyder said he'd prefer the city solve its own problems with a consent agreement but didn't rule out sending in an emergency manager.
"We need to have the city take more focus on financial responsibility," the governor said. "Let's put together an agreement. The thing about an agreement, you need someone on the other side to agree. We're running out of time."
In an interview with The Detroit News editorial board last week, Bing said that any consent agreement to restructure city government must include some cash from the state. "There's no way you're going to fix the city without some additional money," Bing said.
The governor is awaiting a recommendation from his 10-person financial review team poring over Detroit's books to either recommend sending in an emergency manager or supporting a consent agreement.
News of the proposed agreement infuriated opponents who brought suit against the state-appointed review team for allegedly violating the Open Meetings Act. Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette last month ordered the team, which includes state Treasurer Andy Dillon, to stop meeting in secret.
Attorney Andrew Paterson, an attorney for activist Robert Davis, who brought the lawsuit, said Davis has seen the agreement. Paterson said he will present evidence to Collette Tuesday morning that Dillon violated the injunction, because the proposed consent agreement was formulated in secret.