The Detroit Financial Review Commission voted to end state financial oversight during a special meeting on Monday afternoon.
The vote comes after the city delivered three consecutive years of budget surpluses. This is the first time in four decades that the city has achieved full self-governance.
In February, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan proposed a $2 billion budget which he believed was solid enough to end the financial oversight.
Since emerging from bankruptcy the state’s financial review commission closely watched the city’s finances.
“As you would expect we have a balanced budget,” said Mike Duggan, Detroit Mayor, as he presented the 2019 budget to city council.
He said he expects the state to end oversight this spring if the budget is approved. The financial review commission would still exist and review the city’s finances every year, but the city would no longer have to get state approval for big purchases.
“That comes about because the city has had three years of balanced budgets,” said John Hill, Detroit’s Chief Financial Officer.
Hill became CFO as the city was in the middle of bankruptcy and helped lead the city out of the mess. He says the city has put together a 4-year financial plan to make sure the city stays on the right track as debt payments come due in the next few years. Turning the city around is rewarding, but not easy.
“It has been a lot of work. there is no question. A lot of late nights. It continues to be and probably will be for a while,” said Hill.
Those long hours have helped lead to a budget surplus of more than $50 million dollars, and the ability to make improvements.
The mayor says with the proposed budget he aims to tear down more dilapidated buildings, invest in plans to improve neighborhoods, increase animal control staffing and expand police programs such as Project Green Light and Project Ceasefire.
“The one area where there is a significant increase in positions is the Detroit Police Department where we are proposing 141 more positions,” said Duggan.