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Mayor Dave Bing says Thursday that he’s “closer than ever” to winning the union concessions needed to stave off state intervention through an emergency manager. UAW President Bob King is at right. (Photo courtesy-the Detroit News)


Mayor Bing, Council, Unions and supporters unite to prevent State EFM takeover of Detroit

By HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) - Thursday night in a hurried press conference Detroit Mayor Bing called for a show of unity and togetherness against what he says is the beginning steps by Governor Rick Snyder to send in an Emergency Finance Manager to run the the largest city in Michigan.

The Mayor made it clear to all, especially those who questioned his resolve in this matter, saying, "I did receive that call (from Governor Snyder) and I am here today with City Council, Labor, our Community and Businesses to say that we are opposed to the Governor beginning this process. We are here as Detroit to send a clear message. We are opposed to an Emergency Manager. We are making progress and moving closer than ever to addressing this fiscal crisis."

Bing told the media that Detroit is making good progress on its own relating to the $150 million budget deficit and cash flow problems. he also points out the outstanding monies owed by the state to the city saying, "We’ve asked the state to see what they can do about the $220 million owed to the City of Detroit that helped put us in a fiscal crisis in the first place. Refusal to consider those proposals while initiating this process sends a disturbing signal to our community."

In responding to the mayor about the 30-day state review of the city's troubled finances, Gov. Rick Snyder pledged Thursday to do whatever it takes to avoid appointing an emergency manager in Detroit. "This absolutely isn't an us versus them - whether within in the city or outside of the city," Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said. "We're all in this together. Because again, a strong and successful Detroit is key to a strong and successful Michigan."

However Snyder said the state has no choice but to intervene and offer a hand to avoid a manager before the city runs out of money by April. Bing spokesman Dan Lijana said Thursday that the governor "signaled his intention that a financial review could begin as early as today, Friday December 2, 2011. This financial review is the first step toward appointing an emergency manager. The entire process of taking over the city would be about 90 days.

The mayor plans to cut 1,000 jobs early next year to save about $14 million this fiscal year. He has said the layoffs will be strategic and the positions will be eliminated by Feb. 25. Some city council members have said they think more layoffs are needed, while Bing has been seeking deeper pay and benefits concessions from unions.

Now that all sides say they're listening to one another, it seems to have generated movement from the unions. "We're going to sit down and resolve these issues," Al Garrett, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25 in Michigan, said after the news conference where he stood with Bing. Garrett said all parties want to work toward a resolution "and everybody knows there are concessions in it."

Local organizations, members from the labor, civic, and religious communities will hold a press conference on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. at AFSCME Local Council 25 located at 600 W. Lafayette in Detroit. Speakers for the press conference include, Brandon Jessup, CEO of Michigan Forward and Stand Up for Democracy Chairman, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP and Richard Mack, Attorney, representing AFSCME Local Council 25

The call and plan of action is to address the precarious situation the City of Detroit is in regarding its fiscal challenges and the efforts to repeal Public Act 4.

I have a message for all Detroiters who are troubled by this news. We need your help. We need to stand together and maintain order in our city.

The mayor concluded in his statements Thursday night by saying, "The best thing we can do is work together to solve the problem. You have my commitment that we won’t rest until we have a solution. This is our city. We are Detroit. Detroit needs to be run by Detroiters. We know what needs to be done and we are ready to do it."