“I wouldn’t touch it with a thirty-nine-and-half foot pole…”
Flint, Michigan was under the control of an Emergency Financial Manager from 2002-2004. Then, in 2011, it was again put under state receivership, this time under an Emergency Manager with expanded powers under what is now Public Act 436, the “Local Fiscal Stability and Choice Act” where it remained until last summer when the final Emergency Manager turned over control to a Transition Advisory Board composed of nine people, most of which were appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
Now that Flint has been put under a state of emergency by Gov. Snyder due to the poisoning of their drinking water with lead due to actions taken by state-appointed Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, Gov. Snyder is ready to hand back the reins of power to the new mayor, Karen Weaver:
“The Flint city charter establishes a mayor-centric form of government,” Snyder said in a statement. “Flint is headed by the mayor who serves as the city’s chief executive and the City Council, serving as the city’s legislative body. The city currently is in receivership, and the city administrator is responsible and accountable for the day-to-day city operations.
“Mayor Weaver has requested that the powers and authority currently vested in the city administrator be transferred to the mayor. I agree with her, and have asked the Receivership Transition Advisory Board to support that resolution.”
What is unfortunate is that this didn’t happen years ago. After all, had elected officials been making the decisions, they would have been accountable to their constituents and it’s highly unlikely they would have taken the steps that led to the current crisis. But now that they are in dire straits, Gov. Snyder is ready to wash his hands of the city.
To quote the Church Lady, “Isn’t that special?”
[Photo credit: Anne Savage, special to Eclectablog]