Detroit Mayor Dave Bing pitched his proposed 2013-2014 fiscal year budget to City Council Friday morning. The $1 billion proposal would keep expenditures for "quality of life" services, including transportation, lighting, blight removal, parks and recreation and public safety, “as close to current levels as possible,” the mayor said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
However, the budget, a $120 million drop from the previous fiscal year, calls for cuts to the city's workforce, bringing the total number of employers down six percent from the beginning of last year to 9,800 employees. The city itself is one of the top employers in Detroit.
Bing said the proposed budget would eliminate 100 currently unfilled jobs, including positions in the police and fire departments, according to MLive. The Associated Press reports that he also recommended filling 40 empty EMS positions.
Furloughs would also remain in place for city workers until at least early next year.
City Council would take a sizable hit under Bing's plan. The current budget of roughly $11 million would lose $4 million, the Associated Press reports. A city consultant document cited by the news agency implied that 78 positions could be slashed from its staff.
Bing's proposed budget is the first to be drafted under state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Bing reportedly said the EM played no part in creating the document. Orr would have final say on the budget.
The mayor projected that the city's accumulated deficit would climb to $380 million from about $327 million when the 2012-2013 fiscal year comes to an end this June, according to Bloomberg.
In a media conference following the presentation, Bing struck a hopeful note about the city's future, related to the anticipated new international bridge crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Canada.
"It will create a heck of a lot of jobs, because that's really what we need in this area," he said. "All the things that we're doing right now is predicated on cut, cut, cut. We've got to grow our economy. We've got to grow jobs in this area."
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