Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared that Detroit is in a state of financial emergency, allowing the state to take control of the struggling city. City officials have a 10-day window to counter the state’s takeover , but Snyder confirmed that he was already considering a candidate for emergency manager to lead Detroit.
Though he would not name his choice for the position, he said the individual has “vast experience working on relationships, they have strong financial knowledge, strong legal knowledge and that ability to say, ‘How do we build teams and work together?’”
Current Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is not in favor of Snyder’s decision, but hasn’t announced a formal plan to counter the state’s declaration. Likewise, the Detroit City Council questioned the governor’s decision, as well as the timing.
“There are a couple of new revenue initiatives that are being discussed with state and city. The important thing for me is that plan not working … it’s a state plan, it’s not a city plan,” Councilman Saunteel Jenkins told Detroit’s WXYZ news. “The cash flow statements that were produced were produced by a firm the state sent here to help us understand. Why if the plan you forced us to adopt is not working now … What are you going to do differently?”
Detroit has suffered turmoil since the crash of the American automotive industry. It dropped population from the country’s fifth largest city to the 18th, according to Reuters.
The city has taken several loans from the state to maintain operations, struggling to pay city employees and keep the street lights on last year. Detroit currently faces over $14 billion in long-term debt.
“Citizens are not getting the services they deserve and need,” Snyder said at a public forum Friday. “Public safety, lighting, transportation — all those areas need help and it’s time to call all hands on deck and say let’s all work together.”
The governor also promised that no “big bailout” was coming for the city, meaning that Detroit’s budget issues will need to be solved quickly. The state law allowing Michigan to take control of the city will go into effect March 28.