Category: Emergency Financial Managers

[CC image credit: Thomas Hawk | Flickr]

UNDER NEW (EMERGENCY) MANAGEMENT: How Donald Trump helped end democracy in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Back in January of last year, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stripped Atlantic City residents of their democracy and took over control of the city with an Emergency Manager. The move came after the implosion of the casino industry plunged the city into insolvency.

The road to the loss of democracy in Atlantic City began, in part, when Donald Trump, exhibiting his most trumpish self, created what Steven P. Perskie, the former chairman of the Casino Control Commission and a former state Democratic legislator, called a “Potemkin village”, a huge boondoggle that sucked large numbers of individuals and businesses into the vortex behind its false façade and then, when it collapsed in narcissistic egotistical ruin, spit them out.…

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NOT THE ONION: REAL Emergency Managers are sick of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder besmirching their good name and profession

NOT THE ONION: REAL Emergency Managers are sick of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder besmirching their good name and profession

The term “Emergency Manager” was not invented by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and his corporatist Republican colleagues. In fact, Emergency Managers existed before that crew got around to passing what is perhaps the most anti-democratic legislation ever seen in the United States.

According to the U.S. Council of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), Emergency Managers are professionals whose job it is to “focus on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters or crisis situations.”

And they are none to happy that Gov. Snyder and his colleagues are running their job and their profession into the mud:

“One thing must be made absolutely clear: the term ’emergency manager’ in the Flint, Michigan situation refers to a fiscal-only function that bears no relationship to the term as it is commonly and universally used on a national and international basis,” stated Robie Robinson, IAEM-USA president.…

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As we learn more about the #FlintWaterCrisis, now what?

As we learn more about the #FlintWaterCrisis, now what?

In comments here at Eclectablog and in many other media spaces around the globe, people are clamoring for the resignation of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. For Michigan residents, that call has been ringing in the halls of this great state almost from the moment he was sworn into office for his first term.

If we get into the “Way Back Machine”, we will remember that in his first State of the State address Gov. Snyder announced that, as a result of his research, it was time to get rid of item pricing in retail stores. This, he said, would save consumers money, make life easier, and provide an easier path to making sure you weren’t being overcharged.…

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From surplus to ballooning deficit: the legacy of government takeover & Emergency Managers in Detroit Public Schools

From surplus to ballooning deficit: the legacy of government takeover & Emergency Managers in Detroit Public Schools

In 1999, the Detroit Public School system had a positive fund balance of $246,300,000 according to a ten-year summary in their 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (pages 91-92). That was the same year that the DPS was taken over by the State of Michigan under Republican John Engler. The school district was placed under the control of an Emergency Financial Manager in 2009 and has been under a state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager or, more recently, an Emergency Manager continously since then, ostensibly to fix the financial crisis blamed on the DPS school boards prior to 1999.

How has the state takeover and the imposition of un-democratic emergency management worked out?…

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Indiana moves to take over Gary schools with an Emergency Financial Manager

Indiana moves to take over Gary schools with an Emergency Financial Manager

Back in 2012, I first wrote about the exporting of Michigan’s Emergency Financial Manager system to Indiana, the first instance of this happening and something I had been warning the country about in my own small way for two years. It was eventually signed into law later that year.

This week we learn that the first use of the Emergency Financial Manager system is happening to Gary Public Schools. (The Bond Buyer article is behind a paywall but you can get free access through May 22nd.)

After years of financial problems, the school district in Gary is poised to become Indiana’s first local government to be taken over by an emergency financial manager.
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Gov. Snyder breaks his own record. Now TWENTY schools & cities are in financial crisis in his “Turnaround state”.

Gov. Snyder breaks his own record. Now TWENTY schools & cities are in financial crisis in his “Turnaround state”.

Time to update my chart…

Back in December, I took a look at how many cities and schools were in financial crisis under Governor Rick Snyder compared with his predecessors. The results were pretty shocking:

When you look at the situation under Governor Snyder compared with his predecessors, the data is striking. Including all cities and schools that have either had a consent agreement, an emergency manager, or that are being considered for an emergency manager, Governor Snyder is far and away the leader.

Under John Engler, there were 3 cities (Flint, Hamtramck, and Highland Park).

Under Jennifer Granholm there were 5 cities (Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Highland Park, Pontiac, and Three Oaks Village) and one school district (Detroit Public Schools).

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More Michigan cities and schools in financial crises under Rick Snyder than all other governors combined

More Michigan cities and schools in financial crises under Rick Snyder than all other governors combined

Governor Snyder: it’s not working

Three new municipalities are now under consideration for an Emergency Manager: Lincoln Park, Royal Oak Township, and Highland Park. If Highland Park goes, it will be its second time around and it will be the third city to come out of financial crisis under an Emergency Manager only to go back under an Emergency Manager once again (along with Flint and Hamtramck.)

When you look at the situation under Governor Snyder compared with his predecessors, the data is striking. Including all cities and schools that have either had a consent agreement, an emergency manager, or that are being considered for an emergency manager, Governor Snyder is far and away the leader.…

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INTERVIEW: Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, Part 2 – Reflections of a Mayor under Emergency Managers & a better path forward

INTERVIEW: Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, Part 2 – Reflections of a Mayor under Emergency Managers & a better path forward

“The laws right now are written to mete out punishment to local officials, but there need to be clear partnership requirements for the state to address fiscal stress.”

Flint, Michigan is rare in that it has not had just one Emergency Manager. It has had four different managers and the current “emergency” is the second one for the former manufacturing powerhouse:

  • Jul 2002 – Jun 2004 — Ed Kurtz
  • Dec 2011 – Aug 2012 — Michael Brown
  • Aug 2012 – July 2013 — Ed Kurtz
  • July 2013 – October 2013 — Michael Brown
  • October 2013 – present — Darnell Earley

Through most of this Dayne Walling was the mayor of Flint.…

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INTERVIEW: Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, Part 1 – The community-driven reinvention of Flint

INTERVIEW: Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, Part 1 – The community-driven reinvention of Flint

“We had hundreds of people involved. There was a real community appetite for this process…they wanted their voice to be heard and they were prepared to come out and be a part of it.”

NOTE: Part 2 of this interview can be found HERE.

When Dayne Walling was elected to be the mayor of the struggling city of Flint in 2009, he knew very well what was in store for him. The city was bleeding population and its manufacturing core was gone, leaving an imploded city center with infrastructure to support without the revenues to do so. Still, Walling had a vision for reinventing the city and preparing it to adapt to change in the future.…

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The day Detroit went bankrupt: A photographer’s story.

The day Detroit went bankrupt: A photographer’s story.

“Like the phoenix, Detroit WILL rise again” – Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

I had a meeting yesterday with a client looking for current photographs to reflect their growing business, with its many new employees and in its new location only 10 miles north on Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit. This client was a good 50-minute drive away from where I live so, rather than making the trip for in for a short meeting, I decided I would spend the rest of the day in Detroit to get some photographs.

Detroit has been in the news a lot lately, as you well know, and it’s been on my mind a lot too.…

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Gov. Snyder: A one-man financial review team for Detroit, hired Emergency Manager before emergency was declared

Gov. Snyder: A one-man financial review team for Detroit, hired Emergency Manager before emergency was declared

Financial Review Team??? We don't need no stinkin' financial review team

The Detroit Free Press has obtained copies of the emails between Governor Snyder's staff and Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr that prove that he was basically offered the position before the financial emergency had even been declared in Detroit. Under Emergency Financial Manager law that was in effect at the time, Public Act 72, a state review team had to make the determination that Detroit was actually in a financial emergency before an Emergency Financial Manager was hired. This detail ... sorry - LAW - did not appear to get in the way of Governor Snyder making the assessment himself and hiring Orr before the process had been completed. All the gory (and illegal) details await you after the jump. Read more ›
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