Detroit Council Vote Key To Release Of Bond Funds

November 19, 2012

The Detroit City Council votes this week on two contracts that could determine whether the city remains solvent. Council is weighing whether to approve a deal with the company Ernst and Young to analyze the city’s finances and a contract for the law firm Miller Canfield to advise the Mayor about the consent agreement between the city and the state. Bing Administration officials say if those contracts are not approved the state will not provide funding from bond monies held in escrow and Detroit will run out of cash by next month. But some Council members say they doubt state officials will allow Michigan’s largest city to become insolvent whether or not the contracts are approved. And Council is questioning the wisdom of spending money to hire Miller Canfield so the firm can outline ways the city can save money. The vote on the contracts comes as state officials are reportedly developing a new version of an emergency manager law that would make it easier for large cities like Detroit to declare bankruptcy.