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Detroit City Council To Discuss Consent Agreement

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Detroit City Council has scheduled a special session for 4 p.m. Thursday to review yet another draft of a financial agreement between the city and the state of Michigan.

Council members would not give details of the document under review or say whether it offered a financial stability agreement, which some council members and Mayor Dave Bing's office have said they prefer, or a full consent agreement as requested by Gov. Rick Snyder and state Treasury officials.

Snyder said Wednesday only a consent agreement would meet his goals for Detroit's financial accountability and the implementation of fiscal reforms. Such an agreement would keep elected officials in power, as well as create new positions for a chief financial officer and a possible financial advisory board with state input.

City officials have said they oppose a consent agreement and are working toward a financial stability agreement, but Snyder indicated in a Wednesday town hall meeting in Detroit that only a full consent agreement would do. If the parties don't reach an agreement by April 5, the governor could appoint an emergency manager to take control of Detroit, an option he has not ruled out entirely.

A spokesman for Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown told the Detroit News the body will review the new draft document "page by page," and could vote on it as early as Friday.

City Council on Tuesday approved a bond restructuring package designed to bring $137 million in cash for Detroit. The state originally tied their approval of a bond issue to a consent agreement, but City Council roundly rejected that plan, instead approving the bonds with no strings attached. But the state Treasury has the final word on whether Detroit can issue the bonds.

City Council, Mayor Dave Bing, Snyder and state-appointed Detroit financial review team all would have to sign a consent agreement. After the financial review team declared a "severe financial emergency" in Detroit on Monday, Snyder pushed for officials to come to an agreement by the end of this week.

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