Council will meet to discuss FSA
By Mike Sandula
The Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — City Council will meet in closed session Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. to discuss whether the Financial Stability Agreement (FSA) entered into between the city and the state should remain in effect now that Public Act 4 (PA4) has been repealed.
At its Nov. 13 formal session, Council members praised the repeal of PA4, but remain uncertain what it means for the city going forward.
“The repeal of Public Act 4 will require court clarification sooner rather than later,” said Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown.
Brown also said that, contradictory to various reports, the city is not in danger of running out of money in December, saying the city and the state will “work out the issues” and the city will receive the bond money — $10 million this month, $20 million next month — that it’s owed.
“If the FSA is in place, or if it’s not, this body needs to move this city toward being financially solvent,” said Councilmember Andre Spivey.
Public hearing held on water department
Prior to its formal session, Council held a public hearing Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. to discuss a proposed contract with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department that would likely eliminate 80 percent of the department’s workforce.
Various advocacy groups and union members — as well as a council member from Oregon, Ohio — voiced opposition to the $48 million contract, which would not be bid on by the public.
Councilmember JoAnn said Council should wait to act, noting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants until Dec. 1 to review the impact the contract would have. Regardless, Watson, like many other Council members, is against privatizing the water department.
“The water department is the biggest asset in the city,” Watson said. “It’s collateral, like a house.”
Councilmember Saunteel Jenkins unsuccessfully advocated for Council to vote Nov. 13.
“I do not believe there is support around this table for this contract,” Jenkins said. “If there’s no support, let’s vote and vote it down.”
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