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A first-term mayor who has said he will not seek re-election, Mr. Bing cut the size of city government by about 20 percent in an effort to balance the books. It wasn’t enough in a city with a history of overspending and underfunding, combined with blips of corruption, that dates back 60 years.

“Whatever happens, we can’t allow lawyers to dictate what’s going to happen in our city and its comeback,” Mr. Bing said. “We’ve got to throw away a lot of the bickering and fighting amongst us and do what’s best to bring cities like Detroit back.”