How many way’s does the council have to ask about the deficit? How many times does the council have to ask about a deficit reduction plan? Well around last November the council started asking about the budget and if the city was in a deficit. The Mayor has spent all these months avoiding the answer every one of the council I talked to over the past six, seven months has said that the city is in a deficit budget. The Mayor how ever has maintained we are fine. In his state of the city address it was all rainbows and sun shine well the clouds are here maybe not as bad as other city’s, but deficit is deficit. The council just got tired of getting the run around from this Mayor anyone who has watched the council for the past couple of years understands that is what the Mayor does best give the Council the Run around.
Well not this time they voted at June 28 City Council meeting that the Mayor has until August to put together a (deficit reduction plan.) The Mayor of course would like to wait until the very last-minute to inform the council of anything. He would like to give them something in December, six (6) months into our new budget. Councilwoman Badalow pointed out that the million dollar budget deficit will have an effect on the new budget and that we need to take action now. The city needs to come up with a plan we need to know what we are dealing with. If you understand the past history of the Mayor you will understand that he likes to give everything to the Council last-minute and then tell them ” you have to pass this tonight or the world will come to and end” you know the meening.
Councilwoman Van Houten said “Sooner than Later” the Mayor said that he has already started working on it. Why not with council? The council has no idea what the plan is the Mayor then went on to say that there is something in the new budget to deal with the deficit. At that councilwoman Van Houten said where you submitted a balanced budget. This was said with a look of shock on her face and shock from several of the people sitting by me. The Mayor all so said that there are three people in the room that are now “Financial Managers.” Who are these Financial Managers? That would be the Mayor, the Comptroller, and the Assistant to the Mayor. If I understand right the three of them went to Lansing to find out how to avoid having a Financial Manager come to the city, He did make that statement at one meeting during the budget discussions. Now they are Financial Managers. At one time during the exchange about the deficit reduction plan he said that there are ongoing negotiations that have something to do with the deficit reduction plan, but he can not talk about it. He did however say if you want me to I will, but it is not a good idea to reveal to much of your hand so on and so forth. The council did not push him on it wonder what would have been said if they did.
In the end, come August if the Mayor does not have a plan to give to the council then they will be hiring someone to put together that plan. While other city’s are working hand in hand Mayor’s and city council’s around us to find solutions to each of those city’s deficit’s. Our Mayor is again exercising the (strong) part of the “Strong Mayor Weak Council” to the MAX, but the council is no longer sitting meekly by waiting for the Mayor to give them information that they are more than entitled under the law to information to help them do their jobs.