Have We Reached The Final Countdown For Detroit?

Detroit's financial review team listened to impassioned arguments during public comment at yesterday's meeting. Credit: screen shot of streaming coverage from wdiv.com.

We told you yesterday would probably be a historic day for the city of Detroit. Well, not so much.

The state-appointed financial review team for the city did hold a meeting, as expected. It was a pretty raucous meeting, as our partner station Michigan Radio reported. The reviewteam was required by law to make a recommendation to the governor about how to handle Detroit’s “fiscal crisis.”

There were basically two options: Recommend a consent agreement with the city, or recommend appointing an emergency manager who has the power to toss out union contracts, sell assets and balance the books. At the time of the meeting, no consent agreement had been reached with the city, so the emergency manager option – an option no one really wants – was starting to look more likely. But instead of taking option 1 or 2, the review team took option 3: Restate that there is a fiscal crisis in the city, restate that the team prefers a consent agreement and restate the obvious fact that there is currently no consent agreement. Not exactly a historic decree.

Essentially, the team kicked the can.

Now, according to state law, the governor has 10 days to make a decision. For those keeping track at home, that means the new deadline for a decision on Detroit’s future is at 11:59 p.m. on April 5th.
But there’s another wrinkle to all of this. The Michigan Supreme Court is set to decide whether a consent agreement will even be allowed in the city of Detroit. Opponents of the process say the financial review team violated open meetings laws when it drafted the agreement. If the agreement is struck down, it’s unclear what will happen.

But it will probably happen fast. So stay tuned.

One Reply to “Have We Reached The Final Countdown For Detroit?”

  1. An absurd and destructive headline. The final countdown, if it starts is not for the city of Detroit but for it’s current government and way of doing business.

    A very good case can be made, this could be the start of a more sound, rational and functional city.

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