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No consent agreement!

Detroit must not sign the consent agreement offered by Gov. Rick Snyder and State Treasurer Andy Dillon. They must not agree to the current version or any subsequent or revised version. A consent agreement is not in the city’s best interests.

First, the consent agreement is seen as a favored alternative to appointment of an emergency manager. The public has rallied against the offensive and repressive Emergency Manager Law, Public Act 4. Activists, union members and concerned citizens circulated petitions, gathered signatures and have turned in for verification more than the required number of petitions. When the secretary of state verifies the petition signatures, PA4 is suspended.

The consent agreement contains more egregious elements than the EM law does. Like the EM, it ignores duly elected officials in favor of appointed bureaucrats. Like the EM, there is no compliance with open meetings and it ignores the public’s right to know public business. Like the EM, the consent agreement targets unions, collective bargaining and pension funds to seize control of the work place and pensions from workers to put in the hands of a single, appointed person whose true allegiances no one but the person appointing truly knows.

Finally, nothing suspends the consent agreement. If an agreement is imposed upon the city, then the state doesn’t leave, democracy does not return as it will when the ballot petition signatures against PA4 are validated.

The consent agreement is a bait and switch tactic, trying to make an end run around the efforts of the people to overturn a tyrannical and dictatorial law. The governor is telling Detroit, here take this agreement and we don’t have to worry about any successful petition drives to restore democracy. We will be in charge regardless and your efforts to defeat PA4 will be meaningless.

The real problem in Detroit is lack of revenue and lack of vision. Under Bing’s term as mayor, there has been little vision or any enunciation of what the city can be; Detroit Works Project is the only attempt to look ahead and so far there is nothing there.

There are people in and out of city government who have ideas to not only save money, but increase revenue. From debt service to mobile food carts, from business permit process to code enforcement, from selling the art at the DIA to selling bottled water, from collecting income taxes from all sport teams to billing the downtown venues for the added police protection, from simply collecting current taxes to finding a way to provide college education for city children; the ideas to move us ahead are numerous but un-discussed.

We urge Bing to continue his efforts to obtain federal funds and stay the course: No consent agreement. We urge the governor to pay the state’s debt to the city and give Bing and the city deserved respect by studying the administration’s financial plans.

We urge the council to reject any consent agreement. We urge citizens to stay alert and make sure democracy survives in Detroit. No consent agreement, ever!

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