Detroit Politicians Get a Pay Raise, From the State's Emergency Manager


labor legacy monument not the biggest labor legacy in detroit

Detroit, Michigan is, by all accounts, a failing city. Last summer, the city government filed for bankruptcy and in December was granted Chapter 9 protection by a judge. The city holds at least $18 billion in debt. The police department has been under a federal monitor for the last decade—and doesn't know how many employees it has on its payroll. The state appointed an emergency manager to share power with the mayor, that's how poor of a job Detroit's political class has done in the last several decades.

How have Detroit's local politicians been rewarded, by the state's emergency manager no less? They've been approved for pay raises. Via CBS Detroit:

Effective July 1, they all get 5 percent raises. Before the raise, Mayor Mike Duggan earned $158,000 a year, and Detroit's nine at-large council members made $73,181 each, along with a pension, cell phone, city car and city-paid gasoline.

By comparison, the median household income in Detroit was $25,193 in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Orr's own salary of $275,000 a year to guide Detroit through the largest municipal bankruptcy case in history will not change.

Detroit's politicians helped destroy it with an endless parade of handouts to public employees and their unions and it doesn't seem the state government may not be able to save Detroit either. Getting rid of the politicians, rather than paying them even more, may be the best option.

Related, check out this piece from Reason TV's "Anarchy in Detroit" series:


Check out the rest of the series here.

NEXT: Canadian City Bans Singing on Public Buses

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  1. It sends the wrong message. That’s what Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr needs to understand about the pay raises he just approved for the mayor, city council and other non-union city workers.

    Oh…you thought Orr was actually interested in saving the city?

    1. Laughing their asses off, all the way to the Swiss bank account.

  2. “…and it doesn’t seem the state government may not be able to save Detroit either.”

    So you’re saying the state government will save Detroit?

    1. Came here for this, see it’s covered. Sloppy, Ed.

  3. I’d have given them a set of steak knives.

    1. What do you get for third place? 🙂

      1. Cleveland

        1. Second place is a week in Cleveland.

          Third place is two weeks in Cleveland.

  4. Man, I need to get me one of them guvnmint jobs.

  5. People in Detroit voted for this. Nobody else should be paying for it.

  6. Orr’s office says the costs for the increases are covered in the city’s restructuring plan, which is pending in federal bankruptcy court.

    “Plan your work, and work your plan.”

  7. “Duggan and I have come up with a way to manage day-to-day operations and the financial restructuring in a collaborative fashion that puts the best interests of all of its 700,000 residents first.”

    *** meekly raises hand ***

    What exactly are those interests?

    1. Answer: having someone other than the city’s residents pay for everything they want.

  8. Interesting… it’s for non-union employees, and so includes the mayor and city council, apparently. Which makes me wonder if the city has any other non-union employees.

    It’s funny — in corporate bankruptcy cases, retention bonuses/raises to keep people are common. In the case of elected officials, though, there’s *really* no reason to, as they just showed last November that they wanted the job knowing the state of the city/finances.

  9. Tony will be along shortly to tell us that nothing wrong with Detroit is the fault of municipal mismanagement, when even the NYT says otherwise.

    1. It’s clearly the fault of those racist Republican’s that won’t pay the city’s debts and refuse to live in an urban hell hole and don’t want to pay their share of taxes.

      How’d I do?

    2. Tony will blame the republicans and conservatives.

      1. Close, he blames capitalism.

        1. Union capitalism?

  10. They should put The Fist on eBay.

    1. To a handful of people it’s “The Fist”.

      But to the other 99.99999999999999999999% of the world it’s “Fisting”.

  11. How have Detroit’s local politicians been rewarded, by the state’s emergency manager no less? They’ve been approved for pay raises.

    Feature, not a bug.

  12. You racist suburbanites just can’t stand to see a black person (except that Mick Duggan) get a raise, can you. You trash the city and then leave it to the brothers to clean up, you’re after their “jewels”, and a meager 5% raise is an issue?

    How ’bout you clean up all o’ y’alls issues north of 8 Mile, huh? And let Detroit clean up Detroit’s issues.

    With your money.

    THANK you. Racists.

    /Pretty much nailed it

  13. Bobby Jindal the conservative was gonna fix our financial woes. There has been a freeze on cost of living raises for state employees for years now. He has closed state facilities and downsized many others. The number of state employees has dropped precipitously.

    Oddly, the state payroll payout has increased. How did that happen? It is such a puzzler.

  14. Am I the only one that is concerned that Detroit appears to have a stargate?

  15. Man I sure wish I knew what was going on up their in detroit.

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