Category: Emergency Managers

I left the country for two weeks and the list of things that happened in Michigan is mind blowing

I left the country for two weeks and the list of things that happened in Michigan is mind blowing

The lack of blog posts over the past couple of weeks is due to the fact that I was in Canada for a week-long business trip two weeks ago that involved me working 8-10 hour shifts, grabbing a quick bite to eat on the fly, and then catching a few hours of sleep before heading back to the plant. I got home Friday night at around 9 p.m. and was back at the airport the next morning to fly to Ireland for a wedding/vacation.

Interestingly and unexpectedly, the day we arrived in Dublin was the 100-year anniversary of the “Easter Rising” that essentially created the nation of Ireland was we know it today.…

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The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

I’ve been writing lately about the attempt by the Snyder administration to continue the undemocratic takeover of local schools facing financial difficulties without having to use an Emergency Manager. Thanks to the Flint water catastrophe where the residents’ drinking water was contaminated with lead thanks to decisions made by Emergency Managers, that phrase has become (pardon the pun) toxic. As I have written (HERE and HERE), the individual put in charge of taking over the school districts is now called a “CEO”. And the CEO has all sorts of power:

  • Assume the financial and academic authority over multiple schools;
  • Assume the role of the locally elected school board for those schools they have been assigned;
  • Control all funds attributable to pupils at the school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Permanently close a school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Sell closed school buildings without the consent of the locally elected board; and
  • Convert schools into charter schools without the consent of the locally elected board.
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More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

Earlier this month, I suggested that the Snyder administration has no intention of replacing a single water line in Flint where the drinking water was contaminated with the powerful neurotoxin lead through the actions of Snyder’s appointed Emergency Managers and the ineptitude of his appointee at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Dan Wyant, a man with zero experience in managing water systems:

Amid all this non-action, the Snyder administration has started to warn municipalities that they should avoid “partial lead service line replacements”. […]

Add to this the fact that Flint water lead levels are beginning to drop as the phosphate added to the water for corrosion protection is building up a protective layer on the inside of water lines and it is starting to look as if the Snyder administration is simply waiting until lead levels have dropped enough for Flint residents to begin using their water again.…

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For Michigan schools, CEO is the new Emergency Manager – Now with more POWER!

For Michigan schools, CEO is the new Emergency Manager – Now with more POWER!

The ultimate expression of running government like a business

Earlier this month, I reported about a new approach being taken by Gov. Rick Snyder when it comes to taking over schools with unelected overseers. Because the term “Emergency Manager” is now a national expletive, he has changed the title to school district “Chief Executive Officer (CEO)”. The first school district to be put under the control of an appointed CEO is East Detroit Public Schools:

It’s not clear under what authorization this is being done. However, given that the CEO “will have jurisdiction over all instructional and financial decisions”, it appears to be an Emergency Manager with a new name, one that avoids the now-toxic “Emergency Manager” moniker.…

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More corruption unveiled in Detroit schools which happened under the watchful eyes of a Michigan Emergency Manager

More corruption unveiled in Detroit schools which happened under the watchful eyes of a Michigan Emergency Manager

Last October I penned a piece titled “Michigan’s Emergency Managers were supposed to fix corruption and ineptitude. They haven’t.” That could just as easily be the title of this post as U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade today unveiled federal charges against twelve current and former principals, an administrator and a vendor with Detroit Public Schools:

Twelve current and former principals, an administrator and a vendor with Detroit Public Schools are facing federal charges, according U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade

McQuade, The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service are holding a news conference in Detroit at 1 p.m. this afternoon to discuss the case, according to a statement released Tuesday morning.…

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EXCLUSIVE: New study proves the connection between race and the imposition of Emergency Managers in Michigan

EXCLUSIVE: New study proves the connection between race and the imposition of Emergency Managers in Michigan

The following guest post was written by Nate Breznau of Mannheim Centre for European Social Research. He is the co-author of a new study that looked at the disparate racial impact of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law, Public Act 436. The academic study proves that the elements involved in the imposition of an Emergency Manager in a city go beyond simple financial stress factors. In fact, as their study shows, the racial makeup of the city is a significant independent variable, as well. Their study, linked below, was conducted while both lived in Michigan and when Breznau’s co-author, L. Owen Kirkpatrick, was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.…

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Snyder-appointed task force finds what we all knew to be true: Snyder admin and Emergency Management responsible for #FlintWaterCrisis

Snyder-appointed task force finds what we all knew to be true: Snyder admin and Emergency Management responsible for #FlintWaterCrisis

The headlines tell the tale:

The Detroit News: Task force: EM decisions led to Flint crisis
Detroit Free Press: Task force slams Flint crisis, demands review of emergency manager law
The Wall Street Journal: Michigan Officials Responsible for Flint Water Crisis, Panel Finds
The Guardian: Flint water crisis was ‘environmental injustice’, governor’s taskforce finds
The Washington Post: Scathing independent report blames state officials for Flint water crisis
Michigan Radio: Task force: Flint water crisis was “environmental injustice,” and the state is to blame
The New York Times: Flint Water Crisis Inquiry Finds State Ignored Warning Signs
MLive: Flint water task force places blame for crisis with the state

For anyone who has followed this story here at Eclectablog, these findings from Gov.…

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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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After refusing to “point fingers”, Gov. Snyder points fingers at Congressional #FlintWaterCrisis hearing

After refusing to “point fingers”, Gov. Snyder points fingers at Congressional #FlintWaterCrisis hearing

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder began his opening statement before the House Government Oversight Committee hearing on the Flint water crisis by saying, “I am not going to point fingers.” In the same statement and in comments made during questioning, he then blamed the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the failure to prevent the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water with the powerful, tasteless, odorless, invisible neurotoxin lead. He explicitly called out “bureaucrats created a culture that valued technical compliance over common sense”. Presumably this includes the man he himself appointed to head he DEQ, Dan Wyant, a man with no previous experience in dealing with water regulation or regulations:

Prior to directing the MDA [Michigan Department of Agriculture], Director Wyant provided policy expertise for the Senate Majority Office and was associate director of Governor John Engler’s Office of Legislative Affairs.…

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Former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley plays the victim at #FlintWaterCrisis Congressional hearing

Former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley plays the victim at #FlintWaterCrisis Congressional hearing

Yesterday’s Flint water crisis hearing held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was an astonishing thing to watch. As the beleaguered city is still reeling from the poisoning of its drinking water and the death of at least nine people from Legionnaires’ Disease, one of the men chiefly responsible for the catastrophe declared said that he’s been “unjustly persecuted, vilified, and smeared – both personally and professionally – by the media, local, state, and federal officials, as well as by a misinformed public.”

Well, cry me a river, sir.

Despite the valiant attempts by Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz and his Republican colleagues to make this exclusively about the failures of the USEPA to intercede early in the process, Earley took a beating not just from Democrats on the Committee but by Michigan Republican Rep.…

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The buck only stops with Emergency Managers when things go well, not for the #FlintWaterCrisis

The buck only stops with Emergency Managers when things go well, not for the #FlintWaterCrisis

As we know all too well here in Michigan, once an Emergency Manager takes over a city, none of the elected leaders holds any power. In fact, anything they have done up to that point is considered to have been done by an inept, possibly corrupt, group of elected officials. Otherwise, an Emergency Manager wouldn’t have been needed.

It’s at that moment, the moment when our CEO governor appointed an unelected overseer, that democracy is thrown on the rubbish heap and a single person becomes responsible for the entire city. It’s exactly what our draconian Emergency Manager Law (and the one that preceded it) are all about.…

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