City Council discusses new budget plans aimed to keep Detroit from going broke

DETROIT (WXYZ) - All nine members of the Detroit City Council came to the table armed with ideas they hope will keep the city from going broke.

Ken Cockrel Jr. says "We're going to need a plan A, B, C and D." They're trying to compile one master plan to present to Mayor Dave Bing.

At the table several members stressed the mayor is the only person with the authority to enforce the seventeen to twenty-three hundred layoffs they believe are necessary.

Gary Brown says council could cut its staff in half down to twenty-six employees but adds, "I'd want the mayor to cut his staff too."

There were also suggestions to raise revenue including a higher tax on casinos and a special lottery for Detroit.

"The mechanism's already in place" said Kwame Kenyatta. "It's being done in D.C. and in Massachusetts for Boston. It could have a sunset, maybe five years."

Council has the authority to halt the approval of contracts and members plan to pass a resolution calling for legislation that would force the state to pay Detroit the$220 million it owes the city.

There's still so much work to be done on council's plan, members may meet Wednesday even though city offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

They've received an email from the mayor's office asking the two members who are on special budget committee to meet with the administration Tuesday. However, those members Cockrel Jr. and Brown would like to make it sooner because time is of the essence.

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