Is an Emergency Financial Manager in Detroit’s future? Will this EFM be able to stir Detroit out of a financial fiasco? And how did a once proud and thriving city find itself on the brink of bankruptcy? Clearly, there are more questions than answers yet city council will meet with Governor Snyder this week to challenge the Governor’s decision that Detroit has no viable plan to rescue itself. According to a report submitted by a state-appointed review team, Detroit is facing $14 billion in total debt with a $327 million budget deficit. In addition, the review team determined that neither Detroit’s mayor (Dave Bing) nor city council has a solid plan to resolve the issues. Residents of the city are concerned that the far-reaching powers of an Emergency Financial Manager would severely undermine the democratic process as the EFM has the power to void any/all labor and/or vendor contracts, sell off city assets, and may override decisions made by council and/or the mayor. Unfortunately for Detroit, the state gave the mayor and council ample time to develop a restructuring plan to address its financial debacle. After much infighting between the mayor and council, it was determined that both had failed and no solid plan was in place. While Detroiter’s have a right to be upset, they must take inventory to determine where the anger should be directed. Detroit’s apathetic voting attitude should be an area of concern. To begin with, only 10 percent of registered voters bothered to exercise their constitutional right in the last city election. Moreover, corruption in city government is at epidemic proportions as a former mayor, members of his administration, family, and friends are currently fighting federal prosecution on charges of racketeering, tax evasion, and turning the office of the mayor into a criminal enterprise. Additionally, there is the issue of a former council member and a member of her staff being convicted and incarcerated on bribery charges. The same can be said of a former staff member of a current city council official. Finally, Detroit mayor Dave Bing appears unwilling to challenge the decision to hand the reins of the city over to an Emergency Financial Mangers citing that “its too late to fight the governor’s decision”. Bing claims he is not selling out but merely clearing the way for the inevitable. However, without a financial commitment from the state many wonder if selling off the city jewels then putting Detroit into bankruptcy is inevitable, and if any city officials might benefit from this arrangement?
Massive tornadoes hit Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people.How you can help