New Detroit mayor plans future changes to budget

CHICAGO Wed May 27, 2009 11:07am EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Dave Bing, Detroit's newly elected mayor, will not veto a $3.6 billion budget passed by the city council on Tuesday but plans to amend parts of the spending plan over time, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Meagan Pitts, the spokeswoman, said public safety was one area where Bing did not want to see cuts.

The fiscal 2010 budget was proposed last month by former Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr, who returned to the city council as its president after losing the May 5 mayoral election to Bing.

Cockrel's spending plan called for hundreds of job cuts and other measures to balance the budget amid falling revenue and climbing expenses. Cockrel also floated ideas aimed at eliminating the city's projected $300 million accumulated deficit.

One idea was leasing city assets to private entities to raise a possible $100 million from the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, $100 million from municipal parking and $75 million from public lighting.

Pitts said Bing planned to explore lease deals as well.

She added that the mayor had until the end of the week to act on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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