Detroit Mayor Dave Bing presented the City Council with a budget of about $1 billion, a decrease from last year’s $1.3 billion spending plan.
Bing’s budget, which must be approved by the council and a state-appointed emergency manager, would reduce the city workforce to 9,800 from 10,437. Bing said that to maintain essential services, the city’s accumulated deficit would rise to $380 million from nearly $327 million in 2012.
“We must manage our expenditures to align with our revenues,” Bing told the council, which would have its budget cut by $4 million. “We were confronted with having to manage our city’s finances like never before in Detroit’s history.”
Kevyn Orr, a 54-year-old lawyer who specializes in restructuring, was appointed last month to help repair a city in a downward spiral of shrinking population and revenue, and whose municipal government opposed the takeover.
Bing’s proposed budget maintains uniformed police and firefighting positions, although 20 unfilled fire jobs would be eliminated. The budget would fill 40 vacancies in emergency medical services, which have been hampered by worker shortages and aging ambulances. A consortium of local businesses has pledged money to purchase 23 new EMS vehicles for the city.
Orr must present by early May a plan to restructure finances and operations.