Detroit council makes some cuts to mayor's budget

May 24, 2013 at 2:24 PM
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DETROIT, May 24 (UPI) -- The Detroit City Council added another $6 million in cuts before approving Mayor Dave Bing's $1.1 billion budget Friday.

Some of the cuts come from the council itself and from the mayor's office, The Detroit News reported. The council also moved up the date for a new cost-sharing plan for employee healthcare to Oct. 1, saying that would save $4.1 million more than Bing's proposed start date in January and sliced $600,000 in aid to several cultural institutions.

Detroit now has a state-appointed emergency manager with ultimate authority over its finances. Kevin Orr, the emergency manager, has released a preliminary report referring to Detroit's financial situation as "dire."

The council is scheduled to meet with Orr next week to discuss the budget.

The budget passed 5-3. Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown, who cast one of the no votes, described Bing's budget as "fundamentally flawed" and said the amendments did not cut enough.

Council President Charles Pugh said there was no way to make deeper cuts.

"What were we going to cut? The fire? The EMS? Those are the largest portions of our budget. If we were going to cut anything, we were going to cut police, fire and EMS. That was not an option," Pugh said. "There's really nothing to cut. We cut council to the bone. We cut the mayor's office. But we have 40 departments ... things have been cut to the bare minimum. We have to continue to deliver services."

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