Detroit City Council would maintain full-time salaries, perks under Mayor Bing’s budget plan

mayorbingAfter nearly three years of public insults and disagreements between Mayor Dave Bing and Detroit City Council, it appears the pair have reconciled as they fight for survival and relevancy.

Inside Mayor Dave Bing’s $1 billion budget plan is $7.2 million to ensure the council maintains full-time pay and benefits, despite a report by his own consultants that suggested the mayor drastically reduce the council’s budget and make its members part-time without the perks of cars, pensions and health care benefits.

The consultants, Conway MacKenzie, recommended shrinking the council’s $11.2 million budget to $3.8 million – nearly half what Bing proposed.

Council-PhotoThis comes under the same budget proposal that continues a hiring freeze in the police and fire departments, which are shedding employees to retirement.

“I don’t think we can cut anything else and still be functional,” Bing said.

Bing’s plan would leave each council member, who still would receive about $75,000 a year, with one full-time staffer, as opposed to the 4-8 they have now.

But that could come crumbling down because the budget must be approved by the city’s new emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, a restructuring expert.

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Steve Neavling, who lives on the city’s east side, is an investigative journalist, a freelance reporter for Reuters and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Neavling explores corruption, Detroit’s unsung heroes and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.

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Steve Neavling

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.