Detroit, Emergency Manager Law, Emergency Managers, Highland Park — November 4, 2011 at 7:09 am

Detroit Mayor Bing latest official to use threat of Emergency Manager to gain union concessions


Back in July, the superintendent of Northville Public Schools used the threat of an Emergency Manager to try to force union concessions.

Now it’s Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s turn. Bing is threatening to bring in an Emergency Manager, too, and for the same reason.

The City of Detroit is sliding closer to insolvency and may soon require the intervention of a state-appointed emergency manager, Mayor Dave Bing told council members behind closed doors, according to sources who were in the meeting.

As pension and health care costs continue to skyrocket, Bing said, the city is quickly running out of money.

Unions, which took 10% pay cuts last year, have refused to accept deep cuts in health care and pension costs.

Yesterday, he made his threat explicit:

Aware that he has sounded this alarm previously, Bing, who says he would consider the job of emergency manager if the state asks him, said: “This is not a ploy.”

He said unions must concede to pension and health care cuts to avoid an emergency manager. “If we don’t get this done, we’ll have to get an emergency manager. … We’ll be out of money,” he said.

And, yeah, just in case anyone is wondering, he’d be willing to BE that Emergency Manager for Detroit. You know, if someone asked him to or something.

Meanwhile, Highland Park schools moved a step closer to the imposition of an Emergency Manager, as well.

Highland Park schools could be Michigan’s second school district to get an emergency manager. The state moved a step closer to that scenario today.

Governor Rick Snyder has appointed a 10-member team to comb through the troubled school district’s finances – and maybe help it avoid a state takeover.

A preliminary review of Highland Park Schools’ books wrapped up late this summer. It found “probable financial stress,” with recurring deficits, and a current deficit of more than 15 percent of the district’s general fund revenues. The state schools chief recommended the second review.

The review team has 30 days to report its findings to the governor.