Tag Archives | Emergency Managers

Another metro Detroit-area city headed toward a Financial Manager: Allen Park

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.

The Allen Park City Council Tuesday voted unanimously to start the process that could put the city on track for an emergency financial manager.

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.

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Tuesday afternoon Michigan Emergency Manager news round-up – 3/13/2012

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.

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Indiana House of Representatives passes Emergency Manager bill, heads to Governor to become law

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.

Local governments and school corporations in financial distress could ask a state board to appoint an emergency manager to fix their finances under legislation approved by the Indiana General Assembly Friday.

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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Harrisburg, PA under receivership that looks a LOT like a Mich Emergency Manager

Using financial crises to disenfranchise citizens

Last year, faced by over $300 million in debt from a failed trash-to-energy incinerator, Pennsylvania’s capital city Harrisburg attempted to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

They were, however, rebuffed. A law passed in earlier in the year specifically to prevent Harrisburg from filing for bankruptcy prohibits them from doing so until July 2012.

In December, David Unkovic became the state-appointed receiver for Harrisburg as the state took control over the city. The appointment of Unkovic was controversial because he has ties to some of the city’s main creditors. However, a judge okayed the appointment determining that Unkovic did not have any conflicts of interest.…

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Judge issues stunning smackdown to Detroit Emergency Manager review team

Yeeouch. That’ll leave a mark.

One of my newest heroes these days, Ingham County Judge William Collette has had just about enough of Governor Sndyer’s Detroit Emergency Manager review team. As I mentioned this afternoon in my Michigan Emergency Manager news round-up, this review team tried to circumvent the Open Meetings Act, which Judge Collette had already found them in violation of, by setting up a subcommittee that would continue to meet in secret.

Judge Collette is pissed.

An Ingham County judge this afternoon ordered all 10 members of the Detroit emergency financial review team to appear in his courtroom March 12 to answer why they should not be held in contempt for attempting to evade his finding that the review team is subject to the Open Meetings Act by forming a smaller committee to meet in secret.
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Public Act 4 repeal signatures delivered + Michigan Emergency Manager New Round-up

It just goes on and on and on and on

Lots of news to cover today. Make sure you click through to the jump page if you’re reading this from the front page of Eclectablog.

  • Stand Up For Democracy coalition delivers 226,637 petition signatures
    Yesterday, the Stand Up For Democracy coalition and Michigan Forward delivered well over the 160,304 signatures needed to put the repeal of Public Act 4 – Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law – on the November ballot to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office in Lansing.

    Here is Michigan Forward’s statement:

    Today, Michigan Forward, the Stand Up for Democracy Coalition and countless volunteers and supporters representing the labor, civic, and faith based communities from around the State of Michigan submitted 226,637 signatures to repeal the “Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act,” known as Public Act 4 (PA 4).
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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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My AnnArbor.com op-ed on why Emergency Managers are NOT better than Chapter 9 bankruptcy

Excuse me, but I beg to differ

Last week, AnnArbor.com Business news director Nathan Bomey penned an op-ed titled “Why bankruptcy is worse for Michigan cities than emergency managers”.

As you might imagine, I have an entirely different take on this which you can read at AnnArbor.com in a counterpoint op-ed today titled “The case against emergency managers: How bankruptcy preserves democracy”.

Here’s an excerpt:

The main thrust of Mr. Bomey’s argument is that Chapter 9 bankruptcy is an unpredictable, frightening prospect where municipalities lose control, union contracts are rejected, wages & benefits of employees cut, city vendors take a hit, and hard decisions are made by a single individual who doesn’t answer to the local community.…
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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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My piece in The Nation on Michigan’s Emergency Manager law

Michigan’s Emergency Managers in the national spotlight

In the current issue The Nation magazine, I have a piece titled “The Scandal of Michigan’s Emergency Managers” which is a general overview of Public Act 4, Michigan’s Emergency Manager law. For regular Eclectablog readers, there isn’t much new there but for those who haven’t been following, it’s likely to be a bit of a bombshell.

Here’s an excerpt:

Everyone agrees that something must be done to “fix” Michigan’s struggling urban centers and school districts, although news of a $457 million surplus in early February prompted the state budget director to declare, “Things have turned.” But at what cost?…
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