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Balancing act

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Speaking of the budget, normally the mayor and his staff write a budget and deliver it to City Council. Council makes amendments, usually to less than 1 percent of the budget, and votes to adopt it. The mayor, normally, vetoes council’s changes, and, unless council can muster the votes for an override, the mayor’s budget stands.

This year, the council has changed about one-third of the budget, which makes it a different document, for all intents and purposes.

Kilpatrick is expected to veto the budget by June 2. With six votes, council can override the mayor’s veto and seems likely to do so, but the council can make further changes to the budget before it goes into effect July 1, says Council President Pro Tem Ken Cockrel Jr.

In a further twist, according to Kilpatrick’s office, the mayor’s budget staff is at work on yet another budget — a "Plan B."

Mayoral spokesman James Canning says there’s always been a backup plan. Or at least, a plan for a backup plan.

"If the mayor was unable to do certain things," namely, achieve concessions from the unions, Canning says, "he has to immediately look at ways to balance the budget."

No one’s exactly sure how the Plan B process would work. The City Charter only allows for one budget proposal and adoption period, and that’s well under way.

We, like the rest of Detroit, will be waiting with interest to see what happens next.

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