Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's budget plan: 2,500 layoffs, privatization
Updated On: Apr 23 2012 05:45:19 PM EDT
The Detroit City Council has until July 1 to approve a budget blueprint that calls for dramatic cuts and radically news ways for running the city.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's administration has laid out a budget proposal that would cut more than 2,500 jobs and shave $250 million from the city's annual expenses.
"It does sound dire, but service was pretty crappy already," said City Council President Charles Pugh. "So, if there is a way for us to improve service by becoming more efficient, then that's what I want."
Chief Operating Officer Chris Brown told City Council members Monday the layoffs would be in addition to 1,000 job cuts Bing sought earlier. Brown says the city's general fund revenues will decrease from $820.5 million to $739 million.
Brown explained that the plan includes establishing a public lighting authority. Street lights would be reduced by 40,000. The remainder would be targeted for population areas.
The bus system would be outsourced to a third-party operator.
One watchdog group warns service reductions have already gone too far.
"This is the second major cut in two months, the fourth in a year," said Patty Fedewa of Transportation Riders United. "We're just wondering where the plan is, what bottom is."
Detroit has an accumulated budget deficit of $265 million and $13.2 billion in long-term, structural debt and is trying to fix its finances after agreeing to state oversight
Detroit mayor Dave Bing recovering
Detroit's 68-year-old mayor is recovering from a string of health issues.
He recently underwent surgery for a perforated colon and was readmitted last week for treatment of blood clots in his lungs.
Bing said he will return to his desk on April 30. His office says he continues to be involved in city operations through regular meetings with his staff.