Protesters Disrupt Financial Review Board Hearing in Detroit

Click On Detroit, March 27, 2012

The state-appointed review team tasked with combing through Detroit’s money troubles reiterated Monday that the city is facing monumental financial strain and wants Gov. Rick Snyder to continue consent agreement talks with mayor Dave Bing.

“We declared that the city of Detroit is under severe financial stress, that there exists within the city a financial emergency,” said review team member Conrad Mallett Jr. “We still, I think the majority of the persons on the emergency review board believe that an agreement can be struck between the state treasurer and the mayor that will give the city a go-forward path way that will provide the city with financial stability.”

Mallett said he and others on the team don’t believe an emergency manager is necessary for the city. Snyder has also said his end goal is not have one placed in the city.

“We believe that the elected representatives and the elected mayor in cooperation with the state of Michigan can do this work,” Mallett said.

Snyder has 10 days to accept or modify any recommendations given by the review team.

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The review team faced a firestorm of criticism from more than 50 protesters who disrupted the meeting.

Chanting “no consent decree” and breaking into verses of “We Shall Overcome,” the crowd Monday essentially stopped state Treasurer Andy Dillon from speaking several times.

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On March 13, Snyder unveiled a proposal giving a nine-member financial advisory board and its appointees sweeping power to restructure Detroit city government and control the city’s finances. Dave Bing and City Council would remain in office—but with reduced powers.

The state and city have been negotiating Detroit’s counter-proposal to a Snyder plan.

Mayor Dave Bing balked at that plan, complaining it took too much authority from elected officials. He had called for a seven-member board to “monitor” the restructuring.

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to watch the video which portrays one protester saying “This is white supremacy. We will fight you. And before we let you take over our city, we will burn it down.”]

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