Tag Archives | Emergency Managers

Anti-democratic Emergency Manager? Check! State takeover of schools? Check! New Jersey adopts the Michigan GOP model.

In the spring of 2011 when I first began sounding the alarm bells at Eclectablog about the undemocratic Emergency Manager legislation that was quickly passed by the newly-elected, Republican-controlled state legislature, I warned that this was not a “Michigan only” problem. I have said repeatedly that Michigan is only the beta testing ground for an agenda and a way of governing that will be spread to other states if it is not stopped.

In Michigan, despite plurality of voters rejecting emergency management at the ballot box in 2012, we failed to stop it. And now, as predicted, the show is going on the road.…

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Allen Park, Michigan, where “City Administrator”, “Emergency Manager”, and “Dictator” all mean the same thing

This past week, the City Council of Allen Park voted to fire their City Administrator Karen Folks. Why? Because she has essentially made herself the dictator of the city that recently saw their Emergency Manager leave because their financial emergency was declared over.

[Former Emergency Manager Joyce] Parker hired Folks as city administrator before she left her post as emergency manager on Sept. 25, 2014.

According to Mayor William Matakas and Mayor Pro Tem Bob Keenan, the city has had several issues with Folks since her hiring. Keenan said the recent hiring of a deputy fire chief with no input, angered the council.

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Gov. Snyder proves his rhetoric on Michigan’s Emergency Manager law was lies, will appoint new EM for Detroit schools

When Governor Rick Snyder was asked about overturning the will of Michigan voters when he signed new Emergency Manager legislation into law a few short weeks after voters voted it down in 2012, he defended the move with this comment:

Actually, what we did was look at some of the key issues and concerns that were clear about the public vote. That got to the point of how long someone was in the position and did the community have other options to choose. So, we modified the law to take those into account. So, what we did was look at, okay, here are the issues, here are some of the primary criticisms and put that into account of having a new law to go forward.
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Republican plan to fund road repairs will strip nearly $1 billion MORE from Michigan schools each year

Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger wants you to believe that he’s found a magical way to fund road repairs without raising your taxes! While it’s true that your gas taxes and sales taxes won’t increase, the entire scheme is based on taking nearly a billion dollars more from schools each year. Local municipalities will take a huge hit, too.

How much will schools lose? A report by the Michigan League for Public Policy puts the tally at $634.1 million for this year. That number rises to $888.7 million in 2022-23. The Michigan Association of School Boards calculates that the average loss to schools will be an astonishing $475 per pupil per year.…

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Constitutionality of Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law headed to federal court

Federal District Court Judge George Caram Steeh has found that a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law, Public Act 436, can move forward based on its disparate impact on African Americans in Michigan.

The suit alleges that PA 436 is unconstitutional based on nine specific causes:

  1. Denial of “substantive due process” by violating the right to vote of Michigan citizens living in municipalities controlled by Emergency Managers
  2. Violation of the Guarantee Clause which guarantees ” to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”
  3. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by the denial of the “fundamental right to vote [which] has been denied, abridged, and/or diluted by PA 436 because governing authority is stripped from local elected officials and transferred to one unelected EM with no accountability to local citizens”
  4. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race
  5. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on wealth
  6. Violation of the Voting Rights Act
  7. Violation of the First Amendment by:
    1. Viewpoint discrimination which violates the First Amendment when it regulates speech based on substantive content
    2. Denial of Freedom of Speech
    3. Denial of the right to petition the government
  8. Violation of the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery
  9. Discrimination against localities with Emergency Manager appointed under previous laws

Every one of these was found to be invalid except for #4, the violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race.…

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After slashing teacher benefits, firing staff, and outsourcing “nearly everything”, Flint schools face Emergency Management

Welcome to Michigan under Republican rule

Flint schools have been in financial trouble since 2011 when it first went into debt. In 2012, they eliminated 460 teachers and staff positions. In May of this year, they laid off 91 more teachers and staff and slashed benefits of the remaining teachers as an alternative to a 19% pay cut. Later in the summer, another 12 teachers and 8 administrators were fired. In the meantime, they have “closed and sold off buildings, eliminated staff and outsourced nearly everything except instructional and administrative positions.”

The result? An increased deficit that now leaves Flint schools $21.9 million in the hole and facing an Emergency Manager.…

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Democracy denied: Flint Emergency Manager appointing City Council members instead of holding elections

Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is using his powers as a state-appointed overseer of the city to appoint two outgoing City Council members rather than permitting a special election as the City’s rules require:

Emergency manager Darnell Earley says he will use his power under state law to appoint replacements for two departing City Council members, rather than allowing their colleagues to take on the task.

Earley said in a news release today, Nov. 13, that he will accept letters of interest, resumes, and references from residents interested in the 3rd and 6th Ward vacancies. […]

Council members have said the state emergency manager law gives Earley the authority to make the council appointments but suggested he allow the council to do so as a part of Flint’s transition to home rule.

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Michigan exports its anti-democratic model: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie considers an Emergency Manager for Atlantic City

Remember when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to Michigan to visit Governor Rick Snyder in March? And when he came back again in September? At the time, everyone assumed that it was because he was fundraising as part of his role as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

It turns out that it may have been as much as fact-finding mission as anything else. This week, Christie announced that he is considering imposing an Emergency Manager on the city of Atlantic City:

An emergency manager to oversee the city’s troubled finances and the creation of a new public-private development corporation are part of a package of reforms Gov.…
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Under Emergency Management Detroit Public Schools loses Headstart funding for nearly 1,000 kids

Back in 2012, Pontiac Emergency Manager Louis Schimmel signed an agreement with Oakland County to manage monies from a substantial HUD grant. That turned out to be a nearly disasterous decision that would have resulted in a loss of upwards of $800,000 per year for Pontiac. Thankfully, Congressman Gary Peters stepped in a saved the day (and the money.)

At the time Congressman Peters had this to say about the situation:

“Emergency managers come in and are focused on balancing budgets in the short term, and because of that they make decisions that aren’t necessarily in the best interest of the city,” he said.…
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The data is clear: Emergency Management not working in Detroit Public Schools

The EAA isn’t the only experiment being conducted on Detroit children

In all of the sturm und drang over Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s Educational Achievement Authority experiment with Detroit children, it’s easy to forget about the other experiment they are part of: state control of the Detroit Public Schools by an Emergency Manager. I’ve written reams on this topic but not much recently given that the EAA has sucked so much oxygen out of the room.

However, I haven’t forgotten about this and neither has my friend Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Director of the Leonard Kaplan Education Center for Critical Urban Studies and Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University.…

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