Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Solution to Flint's Budget Woes

Mt. Clemens, looking suspiciously like Flint, in a photo by John Cruz.

With Mayor Dayne Walling locked in an ongoing battle with police and fire unions over concessions that will help balance the city budget, Mt. Clemens offers a novel approach to fiscal solvency:
A Michigan city is pleading with churches, schools and a hospital for donations to help cover its staggering budget deficit, reports Nick Bunkley of The New York Times.

The mayor of Mount Clemens, Barb Dempsey, sent a letter this week to 35 tax-exempt organizations asking them to voluntarily contribute to the city’s general fund, which pays for services like fire protection, streetlights and roads. Ms. Dempsey said the city has already drastically cut its expenses, having disbanded the police department six years ago, but still faces a $960,000 deficit that is projected to reach $1.5 million next year.

“Those are all services that they utilize at no cost to them,” Ms. Dempsey said. “We figured it can’t hurt to send out letters. If you don’t ask, you never know.”

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at