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Gov. Rick Snyder Wants Detroit Consent Agreement By End Of Week

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder speaks to reporters Monday, March 26, 2012 in Detroit.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder speaks to reporters Monday, March 26, 2012 in Detroit.

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) held court with the media in his Detroit offices Monday afternoon to push his vision for the city's financial recovery.

"I don't want an emergency manager," Snyder said, echoing a position he has frequently taken. Instead, he continued to cite the merits of a consent agreement, which would keep city officials in charge but grant extended powers to a joint financial advisory board.

The governor and Treasurer Andy Dillon put forth their own draft of a consent agreement on March 13, but city officials rejected it on the grounds that it gave them too little power.

Snyder said city officials were now working on a financial stability plan to tackle Detroit's deficit and cash-flow problems. He felt such a plan could easily be expanded to a full consent agreement with the state.

"We're pretty close to being there with them on how that would operate," Snyder said. "Most of this agreement is pretty far along."

He noted that some clauses were still under contention and some of the language would have to change, but seemed optimistic the state and city could reach a full agreement by the end of the week.

Six of the Detroit's nine City Council members met with the governor in his Detroit offices Monday morning, Snyder said. He added "enough will hopefully be on board" to reach a consent agreement.

“We got a call from the governor saying he wanted to meet with us," Council President Charles Pugh told WXYZ. "Clearly we have some things to talk to him about. We don't want an EM or need one."

Treasury spokesman Terry Stanton said the Detroit financial review team could vote for an agreement in concept, without an actual document on the table.

And it's still possible that the financial review team could call for an emergency manager take control of Detroit. But Snyder noted the team's recommendation is just that; under Public Act 4, the ultimate authority to decide Detroit's fate rests with the governor.

"It's not overriding their recommendation," Snyder said. "They're going to make a recommendation, and then I have 10 days to decide."

Recent cash-flow statements show the city's general fund balance will go into the red in May and reach a $46.8 million negative balance by the end of the fiscal year in June.

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