Detroit council to consider pension budget amendment - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Detroit council to consider pension budget amendment

Posted: Updated:

By Roop Raj
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Detroit's top money experts, the budget and finance directors, asked the city council on Tuesday to help put a bandage on a bleeding pension fund that they discovered was under funded.  It's the latest chapter in Detroit's own fiscal cliff.

"We're to a point now where I don't know that we can cut any more without really having a negative impact on services in the city, so there are things that we're going to have to do to change the trajectory," Mayor Dave Bing said by phone.

The mayor is in San Francisco as part of a bet he lost after the Tigers were defeated in the World Series.

The city itself is losing money, $84 million in the hole by June it's approximated.  The first step is to figure out a way to budget for the pension fund.  That's Wednesday morning.

"Many of these projects are worked on by the administration for weeks and months in advance, and then it's brought to council and they want us to vote on it in 24 hours when they've had 24 weeks, in some cases, to work on it," said council member Saunteel Jenkins.

The idea of furlough days has been tossed around as a way to save the city some cash, but City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said that's not a long-term fix.

"Furlough days allow employees to maintain health care and benefits, so you don't create the savings you do with layoffs, and as draconian as that sounds, that's the reality.  We have to save money, and furlough days we've already seen, at least on the surface, don't save us very much."

So what's next?  A group is being put together to tackle the financial crisis -- three members from the mayor's office and another three from city council.  The council meets Wednesday morning to vote on a pension budget amendment.  Then there's money the State of Michigan will release to Detroit, up to $30 million of bond money, if the city approves a contract to bring on the Miller Canfield law firm.  Many on council don't want the firm on board.  The mayor's office is encouraging them to approve it or the state may hold back that money.

"Hopefully council will be able to act up or down on the issues that we'll bring to the table, but we want to work collaboratively with council so that we can make the structural changes that are necessary," Bing said.

"The key for us right now is that we have to react, and that reaction really comes by us looking at furloughs and looking at layoffs," Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis said.

Lewis claims the city is not at risk of losing money in the month of December. In fact, he thinks they have enough cash to last until the spring, but it's time, he feels, to find long-term solutions.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices