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.

Harris said state officials are in the process of forcing him out of office, bending to pressure from a group of high-power political adversaries of his.

Harris said he recently received confirmation of the decision to remove him via the state treasurer’s office, although he still is not sure when he will be required to step down.

Harris said the move was sparked by a group of his adversaries, who convinced the state to remove him for “political” reasons. Although Harris would not disclose the individuals’ identities or provide more detail, he said he has evidence that five individuals had a meeting in January with state officials to discuss the possibility of an emergency manager change in Benton Harbor.

“Knowing what I know, there’s no question that it’s political,” Harris said during an interview on Wednesday with the MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette about the future of the state’s role in governing Benton Harbor.

I wonder if this group of political operatives who are his enemies forced him to take himself off the planning commission (pdf), too? He only just appointed himself to the planning commission in February.

I’d say that Joe Harris has an obligation to share with us who is pulling the puppet strings here. Are they elected officials? Are they businesspeople? Who is truly in control over things like this? The people of Michigan deserve to know who is making decisions that affect entire towns in this way.

We deserve to know if we, as voters, still have any say whatsoever.