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It was great to see one of most draconian laws in our nation receiving needed attention, outside of newspapers and political bloggers in our state.
An E.M. can be a individual or corporation that can be paid up to $400,000 of state tax payers funds, while performing their job(s) without questions, from the tax payers they are funded from.
A amendment to limit the E.M.'s salary to what Michigan Governor make, $159,000 a year, reached tie vote of 19-19 in the GOP-led state Senate. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R) cast the tie-breaking vote allowing for a $400K in earnings for E.M's in March 2011.
Public Act #72 was a different act in terms of the power of the state to interject in actions of localized elected governmental entities; particularly in the case of ending unionized contracts or public employees and the removal of elected officials.
"Does an Emergency Financial Manager have authority to change existing labor contacts without negotiation?
No. While emergency financial managers are authorized to renegotiate labor contracts, they are not authorized to abrogate such contracts or obligations. Therefore, the Act 72 process offers no safe harbor to units of local government seeking to avoid improvidently entered into obligations.
Does an Emergency Financial Manager have the authority to eliminate a department or transfer functions of one department to another, or eliminate positions?
In the above statement, it is key to study the last paragraph, which states in part, "An Emergency Financial Manager may not remove.....elected officials, the clerk of the unit of local government, or any ombudsman position in the unit of local government."Yes. Notwithstanding the provisions of any charter to the contrary, an Emergency Financial Manager may consolidate departments of a unit of local government, or transfer functions from one department to another department, and may appoint, supervise, and, at his or her discretion, remove heads of departments other than elected officials, the clerk of the unit of local government, or any ombudsman position in the unit of local government."
Contained in Public Act #72 are provisions that our Federal and State Constitutions' guarantees, for each citizen over the age of 18, who is eligible to vote. Ironically, the original language contained in this law was wiped clear internet search records but, a Q & A version on clarification of P.A. #72 is still exists.
To clarify, residents in their community or state, do indeed have the right to elect public officials whom they would expect be accountable for their actions. If those elected officials aren't listening to the will of their constituents, voters can remove the official via Michigan's Recall Law Procedures or vote against the elected leader(s) during the next election cycle.
It's possible "emergency managers would disappear, but the financial emergencies would not," said Ari Adler, a spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger,(R-Marshall).
"The new law has a set of 18 conditions that can trigger the imposition of an Emergency manager. Only one of these conditions needs to be present in order to trigger the process. The last of the "conditions" is:
The existence of other facts or circumstances that in the state treasurer’s sole discretion for a municipal government are indicative of municipal financial stress, or, that in the superintendent of public instruction’s sole discretion for a school district are indicative of school district financial stress.
In other words, the 18 conditions are really just a smokescreen that conceal the fact that it's entirely up to the state treasurer or superintendent as to what constitutes and "emergency".
Phone lines will be open for questions about the dracionian Public Act #4 law and interested Michiganders are encouraged to call in with questions at 347-934-0185. The podcast can be listen to live at the following link, starting at 11AM.
Dillion Rule-“Municipal corporations owe their origin to, and derive their powers and rights wholly from the legislature. It breathes into them the breath of life, without which they cannot exist. As it creates, so may it destroy, If it destroy, it may abridge and control.” Clinton v. Cedar Rapids, (Iowa). 1868 Judge John Forrest Dillon."
"Cooley Rule-People vs Hurlburt, “ Local government is a matter of absolute right; and the state cannot take it away.” 1871, Justice Thomas M. Cooley-A former Michigan Supreme Court Judge.
"Home Rule can be constitutional or legislative or both. It is the power of municipalities to organize and govern themselves and to carry out a range of governmental activities to preserve the public health and safety and the general welfare."
"An Emergency Financial Manager may not remove.....elected officials, the clerk of the unit of local government, or any ombudsman position in the unit of local government."
Blanchard's version of P.A. #72, never seek to allow one appointed official to run a community or county, only answering to the Governor. His version of this bill didn't strip away rights from elected officials to decide laws or ordinances for their electorate.
This measure didn't dismantle unions or allow for firesales of public lands/works to the highest corporate bidder. Also, P.A. # 72 never could remove a elected elections clerk that oversee fair and accurate vote counts for public offices.
Gov. Snyder's version allows for a new version of dictatorship, craftily worded by lawyers on behalf of the Mackinaw Center, to end democracy for Michiganders.
"A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. In contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state," definition of dictatorship from Wikipedia.
On Monday, November 5th, a Michigan State University 'State of the State Survey' found that a whopping 19.3% of respondents gave Gov. Snyder a 'excellent' or 'good' rating on his job performance. The flip side of this survey is that over 80% of poll takers rates Snyder's policies on re-inventing Michigan either 'fair' or 'poor'.
If you're reading this article and are a Michigan Registered Voter, contact Michigan Forward today and sign a petition, as soon as possible. The rights to decide who represents your community and state in office, greatly depends on it.