UPDATED: Allen Park, Michigan: The first majority white community to get an Emergency Financial Manager under Rick Snyder


Emergency Managers: they’re not just for black folks anymore

See update at the end of the post.

Since it became clear that Michigan’s Emergency Manager law — Public Act 4 — was disproportionately impacting majority African American communities, I have been warning that this was something that wasn’t likely to stay confined to those towns. In fact, I have written, it was likely going to take a majority white city staring down the barrel of state-appointed dictator — a viceroy, if you will — before non-African American Michiganders would start to take notice.

Attention, white Michiganders: it’s time to take notice.

Appealing Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to appoint an emergency financial manager for the city [of Allen Park] was a long shot at best, city officials said, but they still took a chance to keep local control.

Despite their best effort to get a consent agreement, the appeal was denied.

Snyder’s decision to appoint an emergency financial manager was given to the city Sept. 7. The city appealed that decision at a Sept. 19 meeting and has since waited for a final determination. Snyder’s initial decision was based on a report filed by a state review team Aug. 8.

Deputy State Treasurer Roger Fraser wrote a six-page letter dated Oct. 1 to Snyder affirming the previous recommendation of a state review team that led to the initial ruling to appoint an emergency financial manager. Fraser also was a member of the six-person review team.

Interim City Administrator Dave Boomer said he doesn’t believe it was right to have a member of the review team conducting the appeal hearing.

“The process didn’t seem to be conducted in a fair manner,” he said.

Hmm. Imagine that. A process for imposing a state-appointed dictator that wasn’t conducted in a fair manner. Who woulda thunk it?

At any rate, we have just over a month to convince the rest of the state that we need something other than a wrecking crew to build our failing cities back up. It’s time for this odious law to be put aside and for our state’s leaders to take on the admittedly very difficult task of finding a way out of our troubles that doesn’t involve stripping away the rights of the “subjects” and doesn’t disenfranchise our citizens.

Unfortunately, from what I can tell, there is absolutely no organized effort to get out the vote to repeal Public Act 4. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS: IF YOU WANT TO REPEAL PUBLIC ACT 4, VOTE NO! ON PROPOSITION 1.

Oh, and by the way? If we DO succeed in tossing out PA 4? The Republicans have another bill waiting in the wings, ready to pass into law. And, unless Michigan Democrats are successful in their Supreme Court case against Legislative Republicans, you can bet they will pass it with Immediate Effect. Because that’s how they roll.

UPDATE: I realized (actually was informed) that Allen Park is actually NOT the first majority white community in Michigan to face an Emergency Financial Manager. In 2008, the village of Three Oaks got an EFM and had one for a year:

The town faced bankruptcy in the fall of 2008 due to fiscal mismanagement and the State of Michigan took over financial management of the village.[6] One year later, the town regained local control of its finances.

Thanks to @DavidVeselenak for the correction. I have updated the title.