Debt Rising, a City Seeks Donations in Michigan

A Michigan city is pleading with churches, schools and a hospital for donations to help cover its staggering budget deficit.

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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Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

4 comments on “Debt Rising, a City Seeks Donations in Michigan

  1. upnorfjoel says:

    I’d really like to see what these two Michigan cities have done regarding their labor contracts….other than a few outright layoffs of the lowest in seniority. My guess is that some headcount has been reduced but not one unionized city employee has taken a pay cut.

  2. Statmann says:

    Grace Church (TEC) in Mt Clemens had a mixed experience for 2002 through 2009. Members down from 350 to 200, ASA up from 50 to 70, and Plate & Pledge flat at $120K (not adjusted for inflation). I would guess that their contribution will be small. Statmann

  3. Chris says:

    The city asked its retirees to increase their health insurance deductibles, Ms. Dempsey said, and 8 or 10 did so or switched to their spouse’s plan, saving $192,000.

    I think that gives us some indication as to where at least some of their big costs are…

  4. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Gosh Mr. City Government, we would love to help you out, but that would be a big violation of the separation of Church and State! The ACLU would sue us if we were to give you any money. Maybe if you had fought them when we wanted to put up the Christmas decorations on the town green, we might have had the legal precedent to help you. And remember when you made us remove the 10 Commandments monument from the town hall, well that cost us so much money that we really just don’t have it to give right now. I hear the Muslims are generous. You should give them a try. /sarc