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.
Listening to this, you’d think, “Well, hey. At least they listened to the voters and put a time limit on how long Emergency Managers can serve.” Unfortunately, you’d be wrong in that assessment. As things have played out, the time limit on the tenure of Emergency Managers is only for specific individuals and that appears to have been their intention all along. The interpretation of the law that’s being used is that the Governor can simply appoint someone new to be the Emergency Manager when the clock runs out.
And that’s exactly what he is doing.
Today, Gov. Snyder will announce the appointment of current Flint EM Darnell Earley as the “new” EM for the Detroit Public School system.
Gov. Rick Snyder will tap someone who is leading one city from deficit to local control to be the next leader for the Detroit Public Schools.
Snyder intends to appoint Darnell Earley, current emergency manager of Flint, to replace outgoing DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin, two sources with knowledge of the choice told Bridge on Monday.
Dave Murray, spokesman for the governor, declined to confirm Earley’s appointment, saying only that “a strong public school district is an important part of Detroit’s comeback.”
“The governor continues to look at options for the Detroit Public Schools as he works with groups convened by the Skillman Foundation to move forward with vital community discussions about a long-term plan to help students and families in the city,” Murray said in an email to Bridge.
With this move, it’s clear that Republicans, including our illustrious governor, had no intention of relinquishing control over the schools and municipalities that have seized control of. Rather, thanks to a judge’s denial of efforts by the Detroit Public Schools Board of Education to remove the DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin 18 months after an Emergency Manager was imposed under the new law, EMs can simply be appointed over and over and over again “in perpetuity”:
A judge this afternoon ruled against the Detroit Public Schools board in its bid to oust the district’s emergency manager.School board members said they interpret Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk’s decision to mean that emergency managers can be appointed to a municipality or school district in perpetuity.
This is, simply put, democracy denied.
And our governor is a liar.