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UPDATED: Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris is out, marketing consultant Tony Saunders II in

This will be interesting

As he himself predicted last summer, Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris has been booted. In his place will be Tony Saunders II, a marketing guy from WYLD Marketing Group. Details after the jump.
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IRONY ALERT! Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris being forced out of power

Irony this large needs a zip code

In what may be one of the most ironic stories of the year so far, Joe Harris says he's being forced out of his position as the Emergency Manager of Benton Harbor. Gee, Joe, I wonder what it's like to lose power as a person in charge in that town? I guess you could as the Benton Harbor City Commissioners. They'd certainly know since you were the one who forced them out of power. More after the jump.
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Emergency Manager panel discussion in Ann Arbor – 3/19/2012

We all agree, this isn’t easy

Last night, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan held a public panel discussion on Public Act 4 — Michigan’s Emergency Manager law. On the panel were Deputy State Treasurer for Local Government Services Roger Fraser, Chairman and CEO of Michigan Forward Brandon Jessup, Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris, and Flint mayor Dayne Walling.

The four men gave opening remarks before taking questions. Roger Fraser talked about how the state really does not want to have to resort to an Emergency Manager and that PA 4 gives them the tools they need to act early, before one is needed.…

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The artlessness of the Snyder administration’s approach to imposing Emergency Managers

You don’t have to be a jerk about it

Last spring when I published exclusive audio of Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris talking about crushing the unions, I was shocked at what he said and, more to the point, how he said it:

So, I’ve laid off twenty-five people. I’ve laid off nine police officers. I’ve laid off four fireman. I’ve haven’t’ done that yet but this Friday — after the townhall meeting. Oh, they know it’s comin’! They know it’s comin’! And I’ve laid off four EPW — I had nine major equipment or heavy equipment operators but only five pieces of heavy equipment.
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Wednesday morning Michigan Emergency Manager news round-up – 2/22/2012

The never-ending story…

  • Muskegon Heights EM review team still hasn’t met – 3 weeks later
    MLive reports that the financial review team for Muskegon Heights schools still hasn’t met three weeks after it was formed.
    The review team assigned to determine whether Muskegon Heights Public Schools needs an emergency manager has yet to meet three weeks after it was appointed.

    “We’re really concerned about the fact that they’re not moving,” said Dave Sipka, interim superintendent of Muskegon Heights Public Schools.

    The eight-member team was appointed Jan. 31 and has until March 1 to make a recommendation to Gov. Rick Snyder about the need for an emergency manager to oversee the school district.

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Benton Harbor covered on the Rachel Maddow Show, my wife gets a shout out

Michigan embarrassed on the national stage

Rachel Maddow had another terrific piece on Benton Harbor last night. In it, she wonders out loud if the “non-profit” Cornerstone Alliance, the development arm of Whirlpool, might secretly be conspiring to buy the broadcast license of the city radio station, WBHC. During the segment, you’ll see a panoramic photo taken by my wife, Anne C. Savage, that shows you the impact of the Harbor Shores golf course on the beautiful Jean Klock Park. Watch for the “Anne Savage Photography” notation at the top of the screen.

One piece not mentioned in this segment that focuses a great deal on the Harbor Shores golf course is that Emergency Manager Joe Harris appointed himself to the Golf Course Oversight Panel.…

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Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris appoints himself to several city commissions

It’s good to be the king

The Herald-Palladium reports today that Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris appointed himself to several city commissions. I guess he’s not planning on leaving soon after all…

In an order dated Tuesday, Emergency Manager Joseph Harris removed, appointed or reappointed members to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Cemetery Board, the Twin City Area Transportation Authority, the Downtown Development Authority, the Golf Course Oversight Panel, the Benton Harbor Housing Commission, the Benton Harbor Public Library Board, the Planning Commission, the Public Safety/Recreation Committee and the Board of Review.

Harris said Wednesday the city has to make appointments and reappointments to the committees annually but had not done that in the past.

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Rachel Maddow covers Benton Harbor and selling of city radio equipment – UPDATED

Rachel Maddow did a fine job last night of reporting on an issue I wrote about twice this week (HERE and HERE): the selling off of Benton Harbor’s city radio station equipment. Here’s the video:

This was great journalism – kudos to TRMS producer Laura Conaway – that brought together some seemingly unrelated pieces to show the complete picture including Jonathan Mahler‘s recent New York Times Magazine article.

[And, yeah, she called Eclectablog “the essential Michigan website”.]

By the way, the most recent eBay listing has been updated to correct the misspelling of “Equipment” and replaces the improperly used “negligible” with “negotiable”.…

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Benton Harbor Emgcy Mgr Harris’s attempt to sell city radio equip on eBay gets ZERO bidders – UPDATED x2

Well THAT didn’t work

Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris’s effort to sell the city radio station’s equipment (or should I say “Eequiptment”?) on eBay is now over. The auction resulted in [ahem] ZERO bids.


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UPDATE: It’s baa-aack. Yup, he reposted it on eBay again. You now have just under three days to bid. Same starting price, same $1,000 shipping charge, same misspelling of “Equipment” (“Eequiptment”) and same wrong use of the word “neglible”.

UPDATE 2: Aaa-aand now it’s gone again. “This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.”

What a clown show……

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Emergency Mgr Joe Harris puts Benton Harbor city radio station equipment on eBay – UPDATED

What’ll ya give me for it?

Back in January, I wrote about Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris closing down the radio station that was run from the City Hall basement. He figured it would save the city $10,000-20,000 a year.

This week, Harris put the equipment up for sale on eBay:


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Item specifics
Low Power radio station and equipment
Transmitter
3 mics
Mackie 16 channel board
2 CD players
Cords included
antenna – negligible on removal [negligible? negotiable?]

The sale has some locals worried. One person wrote to me:

Yes, [the radio station] was low tech and “unprofessional” – but the real folk listened in.…
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