Detroit on track for 2nd year of passing budget review

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit — The city met a post-bankruptcy milestone Friday with two years down and one to go before the state might end its financial oversight.

During the state-mandated Financial Review Commission meeting at Cadillac Place Friday afternoon, board members agreed the city was in compliance with the commission’s annual requirements.

If an audit in January confirms the city is meeting its financial milestones, then it would have just one more fiscal year to demonstrate good budget practices, and the state would consider lifting the demands that an outside board approve Detroit’s spending.

The commission is required to certify by Oct. 1 of each year that the city is in substantial compliance with the provisions of post-bankruptcy financial oversight.

Mayor Mike Duggan was pleased with the progress and joked that “it’s not for want of good company” the city soon may be on its own.

“It is an impressive step forward and I thank everyone who has been a part of this,” Duggan said during the meeting.

State Treasurer Nick A. Khouri congratulated the city on “the progress made in the last year.”

The commission is charged with overseeing Detroit’s finances after bankruptcy and making sure the city sticks to the plans outlined in the bankruptcy exit plan.

The commission was established by the state Legislature as a condition of the so-called “grand bargain.” Under the deal, state money was used to support Detroit’s pension funds and donations from private foundations and the Detroit Institute of Arts were used to protect city-owned masterpieces from being sold to raise money to pay creditors.

“The state, the city, its residents and southeast Michigan are represented on this commission, which will work collaboratively with local leaders to continue building a brighter future for our largest city,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement making the announcement at that time.

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