Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Detroit City Clowncil Plays Governor Snyder

Governor Snyder, after bending over backwards to avoid the appointment of an Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit entered into a consent Agreement with the City of Detroit that gave the City officials a rather large say in any future restructuring.

Of course, that's not enough for the City Council - they went off and got an opinion from their legal counsel that the consent agreement that they voted on and enacted is invalid, based on some quite specious reasoning.

Now, instead of dealing with the financial crisis, the City Council is digging its heels in and refusing to do anything until it potentially files a lawsuit challenging the legality of the agreement it signed.

The Detroit News: Detroit Council halts action on consent agreement, cites possible legal challenge

State officials on Tuesday criticized the City Council's decision to put the brakes on Detroit's consent agreement, saying further delays will only make the city's fiscal crisis worse.

Council members postponed any action related to the financial agreement with the state while they await a potential lawsuit challenging its legality.

The decision means the council will hold off on its two appointments to a nine-member Financial Advisory Board that will oversee the city's financial restructuring. Six members already have been appointed.

"We're working in good faith with the agreement that was signed voluntarily by all parties," Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder, said in a statement. "… The city and citizens of Detroit shouldn't have to wait any longer. More delays only continue the problems of the past and make the recovery more difficult."

Council members said they expect the city's top lawyer, Corporation Counsel Krystal A. Crittendon, to file a suit this week seeking a judge's ruling on whether the consent agreement is valid. Crittendon wrote to the state May 11, claiming the deal is void because Michigan owes Detroit money from a water debt and unpaid revenue-sharing funds.

Council President Charles Pugh said Tuesday he's following Crittendon's advice not to move forward until the matter is resolved. A majority of his colleagues agreed.

"The advice from corporation counsel is (to) not act on any aspect of the consent agreement until there's a declaratory judgment," Pugh said.

Crittendon could not be reached for comment Tuesday. In her legal analysis of the consent agreement, Crittendon indicated the opinion was requested by Councilwoman JoAnn Watson.

Got that?

The Council has been playing Governor Snyder to buy more time at the helm of the sinking ship and to keep on fiddling, not to mention receiving $137 million in state backed funds. That's what happens when you deal in good faith with a City Council that has no intention of doing so - you get played.

Fine then. Void the deal, make Detroit return the bond money and let the City continue on its self-determined path to go bankrupt with not a penny more of the State's money thrown into that mess.

Anyone stupid enough to continue to negotiate with these clowns after this are fooling themselves.

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