Judge smacks down Pontiac Emergency Financial Manager, says he’s running the city “like a dictatorship”
Some truth-telling from the judicial branchBack in December, Pontiac Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel unilaterally decided to change the composition of the city's pension board from 11 to 5 members. He thought they were wasting time and money and felt his role as the EM gave him the ability to simply do what he wished. Yesterday, Oakland County Judge Rae Lee Chabot upheld a preliminary injunction filed by the pension board and reversed Schimmel's action. In her smack-down of Schimmel's move, she said "That’s what it looks like — it looks like a dictatorship where the (emergency financial manager) said, 'look, I’m going to turn over the board so there is no opposition.'" More after the jump.
Take your victories where you can get them
|Flint Mayor Dayne Walling|
As I mentioned earlier, a judge had put a restraining order on Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown due to potential violations of the Open Meetings Act. The hearing was this afternoon and, now that it’s over, Michael Brown is unemployed and Dayne Walling is mayor again. Not only that, everything Brown has done as Emergency Manager is reversed.
I have no doubt that the Snyder administration will simply go through the proper motions this time and redo the whole thing. I am sure that, within a month, Flint will have an Emergency Manager again.…
Can’t win for losin’…
The Snyder administration was handed another in a long list of legal setbacks today as my now-favorite judge, Ingham Country Judge William Collette, smacked them down again.
Recall that Judge Collette had already issued a mighty smackdown to the Detroit Emergency Manager Review Team earlier in the month:
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.…
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:
A Consent Agreement by any other name is still an Emergency Manager
Yesterday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder presented a Consent Agreement to the city of Detroit. You can read the 26-page Consent Agreement HERE (pdf). HuffPo Detroit has a great run-down of the key parts of the Consent Agreement HERE. There’s some surprisingly egregious stuff in there. Whoa.
Here’s the rather straight forward, if not harsh, condemnation of the proposal by Detroit Mayor Bing:
Dunt, dunt, dunt. Another one bites the dust.
In the never-ended steamroller crushing municipal debt, another Detroit-area city, Allen Park, appears to now be headed down the road toward the imposition of an Emergency Manager. This one may be voluntary.
Council members voted to draft a letter seeking the state to form a financial review team to determine if Allen Park faces a financial crisis. That could put the city in line for the appointment of an emergency financial manager.…
In our last episode…
- Detroit may avoid Emergency Manager by agreeing to a consent agreement
This morning, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder presented a consent agreement to Detroit city officials. This is basically his last offer before imposing an Emergency Manager on Michigan’s largest city.
Michigan Radio reporting news from the Associated Press:Councilman James Tate says the deal includes an advisory committee that would remove some power from elected officials. Tate says the consent agreement reads more like a “one-way edict.”
If approved, the deal could keep the state from appointing an emergency financial manager in Detroit, which faces a $197 million budget deficit.
There goes another one, just like the other one…
As I wrote about in January, the Indiana Senate decisively passed an Emergency Manager bill similar to but different than Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law. The vote was 48-1. Last Friday, the Indiana House passed the Emergency Manager bill unanimously, 96-0.
House Bill 1192 empowers an emergency manager appointed by the Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board to reduce spending, cut payroll and renegotiate contracts without first obtaining the consent of elected officials.…
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