DETROIT (Reuters) - Former Department of Education official Jack Martin will be Detroit's newly appointed chief financial officer, representing one of the first major initiatives taken by the city under its fiscal-oversight pact with the state of Michigan.
Martin, who began his career at General Motors and is the former head of Home Federal Savings Bank of Detroit, was appointed by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. He will be paid $220,000 annually.
During a press conference, Martin said his main focus will be on better revenue management.
"Millions and millions of dollars the city is entitled to is not being collected," Martin said. "We face monumental hurdles with virtually no money."
He also said the city's information technology is outdated and will pursue help from the federal government in fixing it. In addition, he said he will look for additional grants that could help Detroit.
"I don't think the state has a lot of money to give."
While he said he could eventually seek additional financial support from the state of Michigan, that funding would not be enough to fix Detroit.
The appointment of Martin follows several months of effort on the part of Bing and the city's nine-member council to stem several years of severe budget deficits created by high employee costs, population decline and ineffective oversight. Mayor Rick Snyder stepped in December after it became clear Detroit was only months away from running out of cash.
Martin, a native of Detroit, has most recently been serving as the emergency manager in nearby Highland Park public schools. He was CFO of the U.S. Department of Education from 2002 to 2005 .
Martin was a member of Governor Rick Snyder's financial review team, which found the city to be in financial crisis earlier this year.
The financial review team recommended the creation of a "consent" financial agreement between the state and Detroit leaders, under which the city must meet stringent requirements. The requirements included appointing a CFO and a bigger panel of advisers, and providing more detailed and timely financial reporting.
During the press conference, Bing said he plans to cut an additional 936 city jobs as part of a restructuring. Detroit just finished laying off 864 people, bringing current headcount to about 11,000 in a city of 700,000 people. Together, the cuts would lead to $100 million in annual savings.
(Reporting by John D. Stoll; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Gunna Dickson)