Saturday, March 2, 2013

Detroit To Get Czar Appointed by State to Run City – Will Have Complete Control

An Awful But Apparently Necessary Action

The city of Detroit is a fine place, but it has been the victim of terrible municipal leaders and an economic downturn.  Together these things have joined with an increasing need for the city to spend money supporting its growing population of low income resident to produce a fiscal disaster.

The city tried tochnage by electing former NBA star Dave Bing as a mayor, and this honest and seemingly competent individual made a major effort to fix things.  But the problems were too great, the city too poor, the populace too divided to make headway.  So the result is this.

Last week, a state review team concluded Detroit's financial crisis requires state intervention "because no satisfactory plan exists to resolve a serious financial problem."
The review team found Detroit's cash-flow deficit is nearly $100 million. That's on top of an accumulated deficit of $327 million. The city also has $14.9 billion worth of unfunded pension and employment retirement liabilities, according to the review team report. In five years, it needs $1.9 billion to begin making payments on the debt.

As a result the Republican Governor will recommend a financial overseer with almost total power to operate the city and usurp the role and authority of locally elected officials.  These officials and their allies are justifiably upset.

"When times are tough, it is especially important that decisions are made democratically and locally," the metro Detroit AFL-CIO said in a statement. "Today's announcement by Governor Snyder recommending an emergency manager does a disservice to every Detroit citizen. It will lead to cuts in vital services, which will benefit out of town creditors and make our communities less livable."

Earlier, Detroit City Council members called the decision to appoint an emergency manager premature and said they are doing everything they can to avert the takeover. "It would be irresponsible for us to not provide some response," Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said of a plan council members are compiling to send to Snyder." If they don't accept it, they don't accept it. We have to do everything we can to try to stop (emergency management) from happening."

and the critics are correct, this is a horribly undemocratic act.  But critics are complaining on philosophical grounds and none of them have an answer to the real question, how to get Detroit on some type of fiscal stability. 

No, it is not the fault of the victims here, victims are rarely at fault.  But that does not mean they will not have to suffer, because this appears to be the only alternative. 

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