Detroit, state agree on reform fund pact

Nov. 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM
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DETROIT, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The mayor of Detroit and state officials say they have agreed on specific reforms needed for the city to receive millions of dollars in emergency funds.

Detroit will run out of money, city officials say, if they cannot access $10 million in bond money by next week and $20 million by mid-December, The Detroit News reported Friday.

The 10-page agreement allows "all of the key stakeholders to be on the same page as it relates to the progress of the city's restructuring plan," Bing said Thursday in a statement.

Among the requirements, the city must approve specific legal and consulting contracts, hire turnaround firms, modify ordinances dealing with purchasing and privatization, and outsource its health and workforce development departments.

The city council appeared ready to approve the agreement, even if grudgingly.

City Council President Charles Pugh said he disagreed with the "carrot and stick" tactics of the agreement, but "we'll work and do everything we can to assist the mayor's office in getting it done."

Councilman Kenneth Cockrel Jr. disagreed with a provision that the city must okay several outstanding contracts, including ones to hire accounting firm Ernst & Young and law firm Miller Canfield.

Ernst & Young has been reviewing city operations. Miller Canfield will oversee the reforms.

"Council has its back against the wall if it does not approve this contract," Cockrel said.

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