Mayor Dave Bing urged the council to make the reductions and approve contracts to make the cash-strapped government more efficient to avoid deeper state intervention.
Among the proposals are reducing the hours of nonunion mayoral and council staffers, increasing out-of-pocket health care costs and cutting the 36th District Court budget by 20%.
“As you well know, we are in some rough times,” Bing told the council. “It’s tough for all of us to make the decisions necessary to bring the city back.”
Before Bing spoke to council, a rowdy audience took turns stating their opposition to state intervention and deeper cuts.
One resident described state intervention as an attempt to “resurrect Hitler from the dead.” Another called it slavery.
Although some council members wanted to make the cuts sooner to reduces the chances of Gov. Rick Snyder appointing an emergency manager, Council President Charles Pugh wanted none of it and said council shouldn’t vote until next week.
“We respect and understand the urgency,” Pugh said. “To the best of our ability, we will work with you to maintain urgency and get (the proposals) through the council process.”
Snyder has expressed frustration with the slow pace of the budget cuts, which are needed soon to avoid bankruptcy.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.