Detroit, Emergency Manager Law, Emergency Managers — December 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Emergency Manager near for Inkster. With Detroit and Inkster, OVER HALF of Michigan blacks disenfranchised.


Lost in the media hubub regarding the possibility that Detroit may be put under the control of an Emergency Manager (EM) was related news about Inkster, Michigan. I reported in October and then again in November that Inkster is on a glide path toward a take over by an EM. The penultimate step toward that final outcome was taken this week as Governor Snyder established a team to review Inkster’s finances.

The state took a big step today towards making Inkster the next Michigan city to fall under the oversight of an emergency manager.

Governor Snyder has appointed a seven-member review team to delve deep into Inkster’s city finances. A preliminary review has already found the city is in ‘probable financial stress’.

The city has struggled to deal with a multi-million dollar deficit. This week, the city laid off 20 percent of its police officers and the police chief announced he’s leaving too.

If the review team finds Inkster is facing a ‘financial emergency’, the governor may appoint an emergency manager to solve the problem.

Emergency managers are already in place in Flint, Benton Harbor, Pontiac, Ecorse and the Detroit Public Schools.

If Inkster and Detroit are added to the list, the chart from my previous post will look like this:

City Population % African American # of African Americans
Benton Harbor 10,038 89.2% 8,954
Detroit 713,777 82.7% 590,294
Ecorse 9,512 46.4% 4,414
Flint 102,434 56.6% 57,978
Inkster 25,369 73.2% 18,570
Pontiac 59,515 52.1% 31,007
Total 711,217

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Again, Michigan had 9,883,640 residents in 2010, 14.2% of whom were African Americans for a total of 1,403,477. With the addition of Detroit and Inkster, the percentage of African Americans in Michigan without representative local government will be 50.7%.

Over half.

  • All I predict with certainty is that if Detroit is placed under an EM all hell will break loose (as it should). That would be a cause to resist with all legal means possible including general strikes and passive attempts to shut down the MI state government. MI sans Detroit is NOTHING.

  • Guest

    Virtually all of these cities problems can be traced back to the decisions by our (virtually all white) Legislature to dramatically cut revenue sharing this decade — a policy continued by Gov. Snyder, who gives lip service to cities as he shoves them into bankruptcy.

  • Ctbballfan

    Are there predominantly white cities in Michigan with similar municipal deficits that have not been put under EM control or are these truly the six worst in the state? If these are not the worst then they are the six that have been targeted. Right?

    • There are plenty of municipalities and school districts around the state that are “on the edge” and could potentially meet the criteria laid out in PA 4 for being out under the control of an Emergency Manager. Check out Progress Michigan’s fine break down of this here:
      You’ll see that by no means are these all majority African American communities. However, they are, for some reason, the only ones being targeted at the moment.

  • vande341

     “…stripping almost half of the State’s black residents of their right to be represented by their own elected officials” is a terribly misleading statement.  They have all kinds of rights to elect their own officials.  But it doesn’t take city-management skills to get elected…and if the job isn’t being done, someone needs to do it.  Yes, a lot of difficulty comes from lack of revenue sharing, but these problems are systemic and started long before Snyder’s governorship.  Regardless of what he’s trying to achieve, cities/municipalities will need to make cuts.  And Snyder’s administration is a PERFECT example of “cut it unless it affects me”. 

    I work as a tax auditor.  Personally I think MBT reform was necessary…and trust me…that Tax is the laughingstock of the nation.  But the new tax could have been 12% and noone would have blinked an eye…it didn’t need to be such a big giveaway.  I also understand seniors concerns about a pension tax.  Do I think Michigan should have been taxing pensions all along?  absolutely.  Everyone does, and that was something Michigan could afford before the auto industry went away…and now it cant.  But taking someone’s lifetime income and unilaterally reducing it sucks.  It just does.

    But Snyder didn’t sneak out a win.  He won going away and campaigned on the very actions he’s been taking since office.  Everyone loves cuts until it affects them.  The same happens with cities….people get awful generous when it isn’t their money, especially when there’s a lot of it.  Look at Wayne county.  Look at all these severence payments, people receiving 2-3 pensions….my sister married a police officer and his city put him in a hotel for 13 Weeks and paid for his and everyone else’s training…because they had money…so it gets spent.  The money goes away and people ARE GOING TO GET SCREWED.  Because the money is gone.  They have a legit complaint, but it still has to happen.  Noone, obviously, can ever agree on that…enter an emergency manager.  Is it the perfect solution?  No.  But at least it’s a solution.  And if Snyder appoints people with some character, it could be the perfect thing to help struggling cities fix their finances and they can all blame the Jerk Manager instead of hating each other.  And the changes are temporary, so this implication that the cities are being disenfranchised is just ridiculous.  I couldn’t care less if someone is liberal or conservative or democratic or republican or whatever…but forcing race into this issue is just irresponsible.

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