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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

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

“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

“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 it’s 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.

“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

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.
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Ecorse, Michigan, population 9,554, emerges from Emergency Management

Hallelujah!

The small town of Ecorse, Michigan, under control of an Emergency Financial Manager or Emergency Manager since 2009, has been deemed to have emerged from its emergency and will now be indefinitely under the control of a Transition Advisory Board (TAB). Joyce Parker, the Emergency Manager for both Ecorse and Allen Park will be on the TAB. Gov. Snyder provided a list of her accomplishments (after the jump.)
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Hamtramck faces an Emergency Manager. Again.

Another failure of Emergency Management

The southeastern city of Hamtramck (spelled correctly, pronounced "Ham-tram-ick") is facing the prospect of its city being taken over by an Emergency Manager as the state has ordered a financial review team to assess its financial situation. Hamtramck is a small city of just over 22,000. Its population is just over half (53.6%) white and has an unusually high population of Asians (21.5%.) This would be Round Two for Hamtramck. In 2000, Governor John Engler installed an Emergency Financial Manager, a familiar player Louis Schimmel. Six years later, books balanced and financial crisis "solved", Schimmel left and, in 2007, the city was once again back in charge of its government. However, that didn't last long. In 2010, facing continuing budget issues, Hamtramck asked the state to be allowed to declare bankruptcy. They were denied. Click through for more.
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Michigan Emergency Manager news round-up – 4/17/2013

It's hard to keep up...

It's been awhile since I've done a summary of the latest news about Michigan's Emergency Manager Law and the new surrounding our illustrious saviors dictators Emergency Managers so I thought it would be a good time to so. On a personal note, I was interviewed by freelance journalist Chris Lewis this past week for a piece he's doing for The Atlantic so it's clear to me that this story continues to receive national attention. It's all there after the jump. And there is a LOT there after the jump.
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Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts boldly lies on national television about his “success”

Roy Roberts may be a convincing liar but he is still a liar

Michigan's experiment with Emergency Managers has begun to catch national attention, thanks largely to the efforts of Rachel Maddow and her staff. One of the things that has become quite clear from the things I have written about here and the terrific reporting by The Rachel Maddow Show is that, despite the fact that our state is relying on budget-cutting Emergency Managers to solve problems that are complex and multi-faceted, they have yet to show that they actually WORK. Simply stated, outside of one tiny village, there has yet to be a city or school district that has emerged out from under and Emergency Financial Manager or an Emergency Manager and remained financially stable. The Detroit Public Schools has been under the control of an Emergency Manager or Emergency Financial Manager for many years. The first Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb, actually left the school district in a bigger financial hole than when he arrived. He was replaced by Governor Snyder by an auto industry marketing and sales guy, Roy Roberts. Roberts is very proud of his work and went on national television to tell the world that the Detroit Public Schools are back and, not only are they back, they are kicking some serious academic ass, surpassing the state average MEAP scores in a majority of categories. As it turns out, it was a complete lie. Click through for details.
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