Dillon ready to bring in financial review team for Wayne County? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Dillon ready to bring in financial review team for Wayne County?

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In an exclusive one-on-one interview, Fox 2's Charlie LeDuff talked with state Treasurer Andy Dillon about Wayne County's finances and asked if a financial review team will be brought in.

"Not yet," said Dillon.

"I met with the county last week," he continued. "You saw that shortfall estimated $25 million to $40 million, right, structural deficit? But it's a little bit worse than that because they have an accumulated deficit about $160 (million) which has to be paid down within five years, so that number's even bigger."

"I'd rather let them try to fix it themselves," he added. "We don't want to have state involvement unless it's absolutely necessary. So, if the county can come up with the solution, I'll support it and I would not recommend to the governor that we begin the review of Wayne County."

In addition to Wayne County's finances, Dillon spent a lot of time during the interview talking about Detroit. Here are some of the highlights.

LeDuff said the perception is that Bing is a puppet and Dillon is pulling all the strings. His response?

"We don't go in and say, look at, do X, Y and Z. We just want to see their plan that we think can get the city to balance."

What is Detroit's projected shortfall for this quarter?

"The range we're hearing is $20 million to $25 million maybe."

"A lot of the employment terms, they were reached in July and then... because the city's payroll system is so broke, it takes a matter of weeks to actually have them take effect, and then you might recall there was the temporary restraining order from the court that delayed it even further," he added. "So the actual date that savings was implemented remains a little bit of a mystery to me, but I think it has taken effect now."

LeDuff also asked Dillon to describe Detroit's politicians.

"If you didn't live in the city, you'd say it's tremendously broken, but my one-on-ones with most of the council members are pretty good. I think they all want to do the right thing. I think we can improve the lines of communication between the mayor's office and the council. I think that would go a long way. The mayor really cares. He's an honest guy. He's got a monster on his hands here. This is probably the most challenging turnaround in the country."

LeDuff also asked Dillon what it's like to be called the "white devil".

"I'm used to that and I think it's the vocal minority. I mean, I feel and the governor feels we have a responsibility to the citizens that are not being heard, and it's the mother that's worried about can her child get to school safely, that they're walking home in the dark because there (are) no lights. There's no bus to pick their kid up. I mean, that is who we're fighting for and I'll take that fight every day."

Dillon even called out one of Mayor Dave Bing's appointees.

"On demolition, we've had some hiccups there. The state has allocated $10 million to do demolition in the city and we're struggling to get through the city's process and system to do that. So, it's one of my high priorities saying to Kriss Andrews, 'Hey, Kriss, Look you've got to get this to council. You've got to streamline this process so we can help you with the demolition.' So, there's a lot of procedural issues."

What did Andrews say?

"He's trying to work it out with council and with the Planning Department to break through that."

Can't he just do it?

"That's what I said. I said go and lose the vote, I don't care. At least we know where the problem is."

Click on the video player above to watch the interview in its entirety.

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