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On the sidelines

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Mayor Dennis Archer has a war chest of about $1.3 million that he won’t need, since he’s not running for re-election. But the guy’s not sharing his pot with either of our mayoral contenders. No, that money is going to the Dennis W. Archer Foundation to provide college scholarships, said Archer spokesman Greg Bowens. Furthermore, Archer will not back either candidate, no way, no how. Seems the mayor doesn’t like that neither City Council President Gil Hill nor state Rep. Kwame Kilpatrick supports two main Archer projects: a fee for Belle Isle renovations and at least one permanent casino along the riverfront. “Neither candidate is down with that,” Bowens said. “So it would be hypocritical for the mayor to support a candidate who doesn’t stand with him on issues he feels are important to the city.” Meanwhile, the Archer administration will continue to work until Dec. 31 to seal the deal on a riverfront casino, Bowens said. More importantly, Archer is working to address an estimated $30 million to $50 million deficit in the city budget. “We’re doing everything we can to avoid having to lay people off and present a city budget that’s in the black come January 1,” Bowens said. Despite whatever Archer might do, it’s likely that whoever becomes Detroit mayor in 2002 will have to make some unpopular decisions, as it appears the city budget will be squeezed tighter than ever. Keep that in mind as you’re listening to all those grand promises.

Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

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