Detroit’s emergency, to be continued

Detroit’s City Council adjourned last Thursday, vowing to come back Monday to consider the state’s proposed consent agreement. Yesterday’s deliberations didn’t produce a decision, although it became clear that several members would not vote for the agreement. Tuesday afternoon, the Council again announced that it would not yet be voting on the agreement.

But the Council may not actually be able to ratify a consent agreement: a judge ruled on Monday (April 2) that the financial review team cannot meet until April 11. The State has filed an appeal. The team had planned to meet Tuesday to discuss approving the amendments to their proposal made by Mayor Bing. The legality of the financial review team’s activities has been unclear from the beginning of this process. They missed two deadlines in late February and again on March 26. But if a consent agreement isn’t reached (between the City and the financial review team) by Thursday April 5, the Deputy Mayor says Governor Snyder will have no choice but to declare a financial emergency, invoking the full force of Public Act 4 and removing the city government from power.

Meanwhile, the City’s unions filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the City from negating the agreements that were signed last week. The judge announced today that he would issue a ruling by Monday, April 9. This is, of course, after the Thursday deadline, so the next two days will be interesting.

The city did vote overwhelmingly (8-1) to double the corporate tax rate, from 1% to 2%. As of Tuesday afternoon, 6 of the 9 Council members were expected to vote in support of the current version of the consent agreement.