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Detroit Consent Agreement Draft Gets Harsh Words From Mayor Dave Bing

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Detroit Mayor Dave Bing had harsh words for the consent agreement floated by Gov. Rick Snyder and state Treasurer Andy Dillon Tuesday.

After speakers at public comment hotly protested the agreement's implications at City Council Tuesday morning, and the financial review team tasked with examining Detroit's finances discussed the proposal's merits in the afternoon, Bing came out with his own statement roundly condemning the proposal.

The consent agreement -- as proposed -- would create a nine-member financial advisory board to oversee a "restructuring" and "recovery" plan for Detroit. That team would remain in place until the city could prove its solvency for three full years.

Gov. Snyder said Tuesday the agreement would keep Detroit in charge of its own finances, but Bing dismissed that assertion. Saying he was "tremendously disappointed," Bing even said the governor had spoken falsely about the mayor's support for the agreement.

"The Governor has been disingenuous in his recounting of a near deal after our 4 p.m. meeting Friday," Bing said in a 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."

The consent agreement would also severely limit collective bargaining for city employees and put most of the control of city operations under the authority of the financial advisory board.

Bing listed his oppositions to the agreement: "It forfeits the electoral rights of the citizens of Detroit guaranteed by the democratic process," he said, adding,"it circumvents the role and power of the City Council as the legislative body, waives the ability of elected officials to contest any aspect of the agreement, and dismisses the unprecedented effort and concessions made by the City's labor unions to avoid an economic catastrophe."

Read the full text of Mayor Bing's statement below:

I’m tremendously disappointed that this consent agreement proposed by Governor Snyder does not represent the spirit of partnership needed between the City and the State to resolve the City’s financial challenges. It forfeits the electoral rights of the citizens of Detroit guaranteed by the democratic process.

The Governor has been disingenuous in his recounting of a near deal after our 4 p.m. meeting Friday. 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.

He’s being disingenuous when he says this agreement leaves elected officials in charge of the City. In fact, the proposed, nine-member advisory board selects and “oversees” the functions of the City’s COO, CFO and Human Resources director – not the elected Mayor.

This proposal also circumvents the role and power of the City Council as the legislative body, waives the ability of elected officials to contest any aspect of the agreement, and dismisses the unprecedented effort and concessions made by the City’s labor unions to avoid an economic catastrophe.

And, the Governor is being 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.

I 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.

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