Mayor Dave Bing Welcomes Financial Board to Detroit

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Detroit Mayor Dave Bing welcomed the nine members of the city's newly minted financial advisory panel Friday at their first meeting. The members also reportedly had a thorough briefing on the extent of the challenges facing the city for it to get its budget and deficit under control actually will entail, according to the Detroit News.

* State Treasurer Andy Dillon also spoke to the panel, saying "as goes Detroit, so goes the great state of Michigan," as quoted by the Detroit Free Press. He also reiterated the state had not put together a consent agreement to "dictate the city's priorities" but instead to help it meet the goals it has set.

* Bing told the panel he appreciated its willingness to take on the task of overseeing Detroit's fiscal policies. He reiterated the city's top priorities remain public safety, lighting, transportation and recreation centers for young people and seniors.

* Bing also said the city doesn't have all the answers and told the panel "maybe that's where you come in and can really be a support system to us and we will bring this city back collectively," according to video posted by WXYZ.

* The Detroit News reported the board members were sworn in by City Clerk Janice Winfrey before beginning a three-hour meeting.

* After being sworn in, the panel announced Sandra Pierce, the former CEO of Charter One Bank in Michigan, would serve as the panel's chairwoman, according to the Associated Press.

* The meeting included a full briefing on Detroit's financial situation given by the city's new Chief Operating Officer Chris Brown and new Chief Financial Officer Jack Martin.

* More than one of the members said in addition to reforms, the city must look for ways to increase its revenue stream and the quality of life of residents.

Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in politics and public issues.

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