Lansing Financial Health Team Disappointed with Mayor's Budget

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Mayor Bernero presented a not so painful budget, but his Financial Health Team is feeling the pain and the leader of the group is not hiding his disappointment.

"I don't consider it Lansing 2.0, I consider it Lansing 1.01. He simply tinkered with the budget and kicked the can down the road," said former Lansing Mayor David Hollister, also leader of the Financial Health Team.

The team suggested painful cuts, selling golf courses and even city hall. They pushed for setting money aside to deal with the rising legacy costs.

"There are two problems, the immediate deficit and the long term legacy. You've got to deal with them both, he dealt with the one. He ignored the other," said Hollister.

Hollister hoped for bold moves from Mayor Bernero, to deal with the long term structual problems and says the city had a chance after decreasing its deficit by $4 million.

"And we chose to restore furlough days, bring on a new detective, buy some new fire trucks," Hollister said.

Not everyone is critical. The Lansing fire fighters' union is relieved there are no further cuts and says replacement trucks are very much needed.

Mayor Bernero released the following statement in response to Hollister's criticisms.

"I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of the Financial Health Team. Their recommendations are bold, provocative and far-reaching, but it will take years to fully implement their proposals. We have done the best we can to incorporate as many of those recommendations as possible in next year's budget. Lansing is on its way to recovery and revitalization and the FHT has given us a roadmap to make it happen. I am grateful for Mayor Hollister's efforts and look forward to continuing work on the team's recommendations."

Hollister says delaying action is not good enough.

"I said before you can run but you can't hide."

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