The city of
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. Detroit
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
financial crisis requires state intervention "because no satisfactory plan
exists to resolve a serious financial problem." Detroit
The review team found
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
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
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." Detroit
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." Detroit City
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
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.