Flint is $17 million in the red
Thu, 06 Jan 2011 22:00:36 GMT —
The number is staggering, $17-million in the red. That's where the City of Flint finds itself financially.
While that may seem insurmountable, the mayor says it's actually good news that it's not higher.
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says when state emergency financial manager Ed Kurtz left Flint in 2004, the city had an $8-million surplus.
He says after Don Williamson stepped down as mayor in 2009, the city was in a multi-million dollar deficit.
Walling says Williamson's replacement, Mike Brown, got the city down to a $10-million dollar deficit and last year, $7-million was added.
"We have a problem with our revenues. That's what's declining so rapidly," says Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.
Walling says just a few years ago the city was bringing in $75-million in income taxes, property taxes, and revenue sharing. Now, it's about $20-million less.
Twenty police officers lost their jobs recently to help balance last year's budget.
President of Flint's Police Officer Association Keith Speer says, "Something's got to be done whether it's by this administration or the state pretty darn soon. The number keeps going up and at some point you have to put a ceiling on it or start knocking it down."
The mayor is calling for a fiscal stabilization bond to help stop the bleeding.
"Frankly, citizens wouldn't see any difference because we've been making payments these last years on the previous fiscal stabilization bond," says Walling.
The mayor says having no bond would be disastrous.
Walling says the city is moving in the right direction. The city reached a tentative agreement with its largest union recently, which includes some sacrifices.
Walling says he'd like to see the revenues and expenses balance out by the end of this fiscal year.