Freep.com – Waiting in the mailboxes of Detroit City Council members today is a harsh letter from Mayor Dave Bing essentially washing his hands of the city’s new budget — and any potential fallout that could come from the reduction of city services and additional employee layoffs.
Bing states in the letter obtained by the Free Press that he is disappointed by the council’s decision to override his veto of the city’s 2010-11 budget, but that he will begin the process of implementing it.
The mayor is expected Thursday to call an emergency staff meeting with all department directors to begin making layoff and service-reduction decisions.
The mayor has said the council’s version of the budget would result in laying off 100 police officers and some firefighters and EMS personnel, closing 140 parks due to lack of maintenance funds and closing at least three recreation centers.
“I trust Council is prepared to explain and justify its budget and all the negative impact that it will inevitably have on service delivery to the citizens of Detroit, taxpayers and other stakeholders who have great expectations for the future of our city.”
Last Friday the council voted 7-2 to override Bing’s veto of its proposed budget, keeping in place an additional $31.8 million in cuts to the city’s 2010-11 spending plan.
Bing vetoed 65 line items from the council’s budget proposal. With a council override, Bing is supposed to present budget amendments, but his staff said he likely will not do so because it would serve no purpose nor change the outcome of the new budget.
“We were elected — or reelected — on a platform of change, and openly committed to communicating and working together in the best interest of the citizens,” Bing wrote. “Council’s decision to ignore a 6-month process of careful operational and financial analysis after only a 6-week review is nothing less than irresponsible. These cuts will drastically impair public safety, recreation and financial stability.”