UPDATED: Are over half of Mich African Americans about to be under the control of an Emergency Financial Mgr?

Look out, Detroit! It’s coming right for ya!

The Detroit Free Press is reporting this afternoon that an Emergency Financial Manager is being called “inevitable” for Detroit. If that happens, over half of the African Americans in Michigan will be under the rule of an Emergency Financial Manager, with little to no say in the operation of their local government.

Remember this chart?

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]

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%.

Granted, the current law that is in effect, PA72, gives the Emergency Financial Managers a bit less power than the Emergency Managers under the now-repealed PA4. Nonetheless, EFMs control a great deal of what happens once they assume controls and the implications are only very slightly less onerous for African American Michiganders.

Here’s what the Freep is reporting:

Treasurer Andy Dillon has been meeting with Detroit’s elected officials today warning that the city’s financial condition means appointment of an emergency financial manager is all but inevitable, with today’s talks centered on who would be named to the position and what role Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council would have in governing the city, several people familiar with the discussions told the Free Press today.

A ranking city official who spoke only on condition of anonymity said he spoke with Dillon by phone this morning and was told that the Bing administration’s inability to fix Detroit’s immediate cash crisis and enact major financial reform gave the state no choice but to bring in an outside manager. {…}

The ranking city official told the Free Press that Dillon told him: “In about a month’s time they’ll have everything together. He said they won’t let payless paydays happen” and that the state would help the city meet payroll and pay bills while the emergency financial manager implemented tough reforms. He said Dillon said the EFM could turn around the city’s negative finances in about a year.

Several other people with knowledge of the conversations said the state’s frustration over Detroit’s inability to wrest savings from pay cuts and health care and pension benefits from current and city workers was exacerbated by recent Bing administration admissions that Detroit’s cash crisis is worsening by the day. At last count, Detroit was projected to be nearly $47 million short of money it will need to pay employees and its bills and debts by June 30.

Once again, the entire blame appears to being placed on the city workers who, in reality, are NOT the cause of the collapse of Detroit’s tax base. They will, however, be made to pay the price, make no mistake.

It’s interesting to see just how freaked out Republicans are about the prospect of a city like Detroit going bankrupt. Is it possible that it’s because a bankruptcy would financially hurt their business friends more acutely than if they can place all of the pain onto the backs of Detroit city workers? Something to consider…

Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking for a speedy ruling on whether or not PA72 is actually in effect. A suit filed by Robert Davis alleges that PA72 was ended with the passage of PA4 and with PA4 now repealed, PA72 cannot, by law, be resurrected like a zombie, to walk the earth again, ruling failing cities and disenfranchising its voters.

Also, meanwhile, Republicans are readying a replacement for PA4 and there’s talk they may try to jam it through in the next two weeks before the lame duck session ends.

And so it goes in Michigan. Pray for us. We need it.

UPDATE: State Treasurer and, apparently, former Democrat Andy Dillon has confirmed that Detroit will begin the process for being put under the control of an Emergency Financial Manager:

State Treasurer Andy Dillon said the state will begin a 30-day review of Detroit’s finances in a process that could end with the appointment of an emergency financial manager.

Dillon told The Detroit News in an interview Wednesday that the new review likely will start next week. It’s necessary because the state’s previous review process was done under Public Act 4, which voters repealed in November. The new review would be performed under Public Act 72, the state’s previous emergency manager law.

“There’s been a further deterioration of finances since I last met with the city,” said Dillon, who met today with Mayor Dave Bing and City Council members. “We have to move more quickly than we currently are moving to resolve this.”

Asked if he expected the 30-day process to end in an emergency manager, Dillon said: “I won’t pre-judge, but that is the direction it clearly is headed. Hopefully, we can do this in cooperation with the mayor and council, and not in an adversarial fashion.”

Given the track record Dillon and his team have regarding how they treat cities undergoing this sort of review and the way they have treated Detroit in the past, I can’t imagine why on earth he thinks there might be adversity in this process! Why, I’ll be Detroit officials just roll over, show their bellies and lick his hand. [/sarcasm]

These guys have the bedside manner of the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors. They have created so much angst, animosity, and downright fear in the citizens of most Michigan urban areas that they have a hell of a lot of mending to do before they’ll get cooperation. And, frankly, that’s on them.

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