Think Emergency Managers are only for “black” schools & cities? Think again Part 2.

This morning I wrote about Perry schools being threatened with a state takeover, a city in a county with only 0.5% African Americans.

They aren’t the only ones.

Suttons Bay is in the “Pinky” of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The Suttons Bay school district is facing an Emergency Manager, as well.

Superintendent Mike Murray says the district planned to get state funding for 760 students, but fell short by 114 students due to a charter school’s decision to drop out of Suttons Bay’s virtual school.

With this funding shortfall, Murray says he has no choice and will be asking the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians for $400,000.

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Flint Emergency Manager decides to let City Council open and adjourn meetings

This is so damn patronizing. Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown has issued an order restoring City Council meetings which he had previously cancelled.

Here’s the agenda of the meetings (unless Brown modifies it):

  1. Call to Order by the Council President
  2. Roll Call by the City Clerk
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Presentation of Minutes
  5. Report by the Emergency Manager and/or his designee(s)
  6. Council Questions and Answers
  7. Closing Comments by the Emergency Manager
  8. Public Comment
  9. Adjournment

In other words, Brown is allowing the Council members to open the meeting, ask questions and adjourn the meeting. Not too different from what Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris did when he issued an order allowing City Commissioners to (1) call the meeting to order, (2) approve meeting minutes, and (3) adjourn the meeting.…

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Another one bites the dust: Highland Park schools to get an Emergency Manager

Not unexpected, just another drop in a torrent: Governor Rick Snyder has declared a financial emergency in Highland Park, and will appoint an Emergency Manager.

Gov. Rick Snyder today said he would appoint an emergency manager to oversee the financially troubled Highland Park School District – just hours before state officials announced they are reluctantly giving the district a $188,000 cash advance so the district could cover payroll Friday.

The latter, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan and State Treasury Andy Dillon said, is being done in order to avoid the district’s financial crisis affecting children.

“Most troubling to me is that this is a temporary fix,” Dillon said of the cash advance, which he said will carry the district through Feb.

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Think Emergency Managers are only for “black” cities & schools? Think again.

Much of the outrage about Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager law centers around its disparate impact on minority school districts and cities. But this law may be coming to city or school near you even if it’s not a so-called “majority minority” area. Take a look at the data that was assembled by Progress Michigan to see how obvious that is.

This week, Perry Schools announced that it will run out of money before the end of the year. According to an article in the Argus-Press (not available online without a subscription), Perry Schools face a $1 million deficit in their budget.…

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GOP seeks to end limits on ALL corporate campaign donations including to parties & candidates

At the moment, as egregious as the Citizens United Supreme Court decision was, it’s still illegal for corporations to give directly to candidates or political parties. If the GOP has its way, that will end.

The century-old ban on corporate donations to federal political campaigns should be junked as unconstitutional, the Republican National Committee argued in a legal brief filed Tuesday that could lead to new attacks on the GOP as beholden to corporate money.

The GOP brief filed with a federal appeals court contends that the ban which became law back in 1908 violates the First Amendment in light of recent Supreme Court rulings, including the 2010 Citizens United decision which allowed unlimited donations to independent-expenditure groups.

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Has the GOP given President Obama the “out” he needs to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline?

There were some interesting revelations in statements made to day by Jay Carney, President Obama’s Press Secretary relating the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Recall that in the bill to extend the middle class income tax break, Republicans put in a requirement that he give his ruling on it by next month. Follow me over the orange squiggledegibbet for what went down at this afternoon’s presser.

QUESTION: Jay, this morning the U.S. Chamber had a big event where leaders spoke about their policy positions, calling on the administration to pass Keystone as quickly as possible to create as many jobs as possible.…
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Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris replaces critic Mayor Pro Tem Marcus Muhammad

It’s not often that I’m scooped in the blogosphere on news about Michigan’s Emergency Managers but, if I’m going to get scooped, I’d rather have it be by Laura Conaway at The Maddow Blog than anyone else. Today she reports that Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris removed Marcus Muhammad as Mayor Pro Tem and replaced him with Sharon Henderson. His order is HERE (pdf).

Screenshot courtesy of The Maddow Blog

Conaway talks about why he did this and how freaking weird it is.

At first blush, you might think Mr. Harris was moving autocratically to sideline one of his critics.…
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More on Emergency Manager Louis Schimmel’s decision to forfeit millions in HUD funds for Pontiac

Yesterday, I wrote about how Pontiac Emergency Manager Louis Schimmel signed an agreement with Oakland County to manage monies from a substantial HUD grant. This boneheaded decision, it turns out, would have resulted in a loss of upwards of $800,000 per year for Pontiac. Thankfully, Congressman Gary Peters stepped in to prevent this from occurring.

Federal and local politicians lined up Wednesday to announce they undid a move taken by Pontiac’s state-appointed emergency manager that would have cost Pontiac thousands in federal funds. While they were at it, they took time to slam Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel’s method of management.…
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