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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And so goes Flint; as a review team recommends a Emergency Manger for city

The Flint River in Flint, Michigan, USA, in th...                                   Image via Wikipedia
News 25 of Flint, Michigan has reported that a “Flint Financial Review Team” announced they are recommending that the City of Flint appoint an Emergency Manager, on the eve of election night.

With assistance from Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) and Department of Treasury head -former candidate for Michigan Governor in 2010 Andy Dillion (D); the team claims they studied the second largest Michigan city finances from August 29th through September 12th, 2011, or about for two weeks.

After reviewing revenue resources that can be hocked for sale to the largest private bidder like Flint’s water supply fund and sewage disposal fund, along with stated cash shortages in budgetary areas and pension system; the team reached a unanimously decision that Flint's problems must be solved by a private Emergency Manager or Corporation appointed by the state. 

Governor Rick Snyder has approved the results. The announcement came just hours before election polls close on a Flint Mayoral race. Mayor Dayne Walling (D) released a statement on the group’s findings Tuesday afternoon.

 "The State's decision shows how serious our financial challenges are in the City of Flint. Significant progress has been made to stabilize the City's finances during a very difficult economy, but without shared sacrifice across the board the City has not been able to implement all of the necessary cost-savings" Mayor Walling stated in a quote to News 25.

"When some don't share in the sacrifice, we are all forced to bear the burden. With the support of the people, I will continue serve the City of Flint," he cited.
The question is in what capacity. As noted on Reach Out Job Search News last week, Mayor Dave Bing (D) of Michigan's largest city Detroit, has suggested that if city unionized employees don't agree to his demands to severe cuts in wages, benefits and eliminating retirement plans; he will call Lansing for a Emergency Manager to be appointed by early next year.

"I was voted in as mayor, not an emergency manager," Bing told the Free Press last Thursday. "I don't want to be an emergency manager, but I came here to help the city, and if I was asked, I would consider taking the job," he replied.

This "salary" is more than the average city Mayor, Township or Village Supervisor would earn. Normally, elected officials salaries are subject to notification of voting citizens by the Open Meeting Act and required public disclosures.

How much, up to the $400,000 limit and when an Emergency Manager is paid, is set on a contract negotiated between Governor Snyder, Department of Treasury head Andy Dillion and the appointee.

Residents within a city where an Emergency Manager has been appointed don't have requirements to be notified of the terms and conditions existing in the private Emergency Manager contract. In other words, the privatized contract being paid by public tax dollars is not subject to disclosure procedures.

Listen to Michigan Forward, an non-profit public policy organization, C.E.O. Brandon Jessup describe on Reach Out Job Search Radio on September 4th, the impact of the Emergency Manager Law statewide by clicking this link.
Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer spoke with the Associated Press Tuesday night, and says the decision to release these findings on an election night is "despicable and clearly politically motivated."

The "Flint Financial Review Team" findings are available at this link

Emergency Managers have been appointed to the cities of Benton Harbor and Pontiac, which happens as in the case of Flint and Detroit are areas with a high African-American population center. 

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