Detroit Mayor Dave Bing was admitted to an area hospital April 4 with acute pulmonary embolisms in each lung, even as his city tried to recover from its financial ills.

“After arriving at Henry Ford Hospital, his condition was promptly diagnosed and treated,” said Dr. John Popovich, president and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital and a board-certified pulmonologist with extensive experience and research with the disorder, in a statement. “The mayor is alert, in good spirits, and expected to make a full recovery with discharge anticipated in a few days.”

Meanwhile, the city council voted 5-4 to accept a deal with the state that averted the city’s virtual takeover by an emergency manager, who would have had the power to gut union and vendor contracts, eliminate departments and take other, possibly draconian, measures to corral the city’s runaway budget.

The beleaguered city has been crippled by the burdens of a crushing debt, including $12 billion in pension and retirement obligations, a faltering manufacturing industry and a shrinking tax base. The city has lost about 250,000 residents over the last decade.

Under the agreement, a financial advisory board would be established to oversee all budget and contract matters. The members would be appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Dave Bing, the City Council and the city’s treasurer, according to a Detroit Free Press article.

“The Mayor and his administration worked with the City Council and the State to develop a consent agreement that we believe puts us on track to restructure our City financially and reestablish an infrastructure to make sure Detroit never faces these financial conditions again,” Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis said in a written statement. He added, “This agreement also ensures that the future of Detroit is determined by Detroiters and its elected officials.”

The possible takeover by an outsider was one of the major controversies during the course of meetings, rallies and court clashes prompted by the financial talks. Union agreements were also a major source of contention. But officials said the deal was the best option, given the circumstances.

“This agreement paves the way for a good-faith partnership that will restore the fiscal integrity taxpayers expect and ensure the delivery of services that families deserve,” Gov. Snyder said in a statement. But, he added, “While the council’s action is a positive step, there’s no doubt that much work remains. The magnitude of the city’s financial challenges means that many difficult decisions lie ahead. We must build on this spirit of cooperation and be willing to act in the city’s long-term interests.”

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO