Detroit information round-up/heavy on Huffpo links
Things get interesting- Hansen Clarke seeks a U.S. bailout for the city of Detroit.
Detroit faces a cash shortfall that could leave it unable to pay bills and meet payroll in April. The city’s budget deficit is near $200 million for this fiscal year, and its long-term obligations are $13.2 billion — or $18,500 per resident.
The city’s financial crisis has prompted an investigation by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and a state-appointed financial review team will determine by the end of March whether to recommend an emergency manager take over the city.
Both the governor and Mayor Dave Bing have said they want to avoid an emergency manager. Snyder this week presented a possible consent agreement between the city and the state that he says would allow for restructuring and keep the mayor and City Council in power.
But city officials, residents and lawmakers have roundly rejected the governor’s plan, saying it would weaken the power of elected officials and collective bargaining rights for city workers.
Clarke says he’s looking for a combination of grants or loans.
So, what do the “workers” have to say about this?
he World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers and young people at Detroit’s Eastern Market on Saturday about the crisis facing the city.
“I think it is leading Detroit into another dark age,” said Manny, a Detroit resident. “How would you cut things we need? We need money. Cutting our schools, cutting our taxpayers, is not going to help anyone; it is going to make Detroit worse.”
Charvae added, “There will no one here to help us. They are cutting back firefighters and all of that. It is going to be felt.
“More cuts are not going to work. It will only make the city worse.”
Another Detroit resident said, “Look at General Motors, they got a bailout, why not Detroit? A lot of what is happening is not the city’s fault. Why can’t the state support the city? It would benefit everyone if Detroit succeeds. Letting it fail, I don’t know how it benefits anyone. Major cuts will cause major issues.”
Huffington Post on what’s in the “Consent Agreement” (rejected by the major).
The Rev. Charles Williams II of Detroit’s King Solomon Baptist Church, where civil rights leader Malcolm X spoke in the 1960s, called Snyder “very disrespectful” in a news release and said the Republican governor was underestimating the intelligence of city leaders. Distrust between the largely black city and its mostly white suburbs has grown since the 1970s, and many city residents aren’t happy about the state stepping in.
But Snyder’s communications director, Geralyn Lasher, said the city needs to turn to professionals if it’s going to succeed.
“These would be people who actually know what they’re doing, as opposed to my brother’s cousin who’s going to get appointed, or something like that,” she said in a dig at the nepotism that ran rampant while former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was in office.