Festival Fireworks in Doubt in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) -- A budget debate between the mayor and city officials could extinguish a firework festival that is part of Detroit's upcoming July Fourth celebrations.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to override Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's veto of the municipal budget, an action Kilpatrick had threatened would prompt him to cancel the city's annual fireworks extravaganza.

Both sides, however, met shortly afterward to seek a compromise on spending levels for public safety, said Irvin Corley Jr., a fiscal analyst for the council.

Kilpatrick on Thursday vetoed the council's proposed budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year, saying it would jeopardize public safety. While Kilpatrick's budget would lay off 90 police cadets and nearly 100 firefighters and paramedics, the council's budget calls for laying off an additional 612 police officers and 120 firefighters.

On Friday Kilpatrick threatened to cancel the International Freedom Festival fireworks, saying he feared police officers whose layoffs would take effect when the new fiscal year begins July 1, two days after the fireworks show, would not report for duty. The event draws tens of thousands of people to downtown Detroit and neighboring Windsor, Ontario.

Kilpatrick said in a statement Monday that he and his staff were working ''diligently and aggressively ... on plans to do whatever can be done to prevent executing the massive cuts.''

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