emergency financial manager

Politics & Government
2:02 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Lincoln Park joins growing list of cities in financial emergency

Lincoln Park had $4.5 million dollars in its general fund three years ago.

Today, the city has a deficit of nearly $90,000, raising alarm among state officials about how fast it has spent all its money.

Gov. Rick Snyder says he agrees with the Michigan Treasury that a state of financial emergency exists.

Lincoln Park officials say the city is on track to run up at least a $1 million deficit this year. The amount will be higher if the city can't strike a deal on concessions from city workers.

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Education
3:21 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Pontiac schools agree to state consultant, avoiding emergency manager appointment

Pontiac Middle School.
pontiac.k12.mi.us Pontiac School District

Pontiac’s Board of Education approved a consent agreement with the state, in an attempt to avoid a financial manager appointment.

According to the Associated Press, there were four options on the table for the struggling school district, which runs a $38-million deficit:

1. The district could accept a consent agreement with the state.

2. An emergency manager could be appointed.

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Education
6:31 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Detroit Public Schools has a new emergency manager

Jack Martin
U.S Department of Education

After two years as emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools, Roy Roberts has officially left the position. Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder named current Detroit Chief Financial Officer Jack Martin to replace him.

Martin has also served as emergency manager of Highland Park Schools, and as CFO of the U.S. Department of Education.

Governor Snyder says he expects the transition between Roberts and Martin to be seamless.

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Education
1:35 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Pontiac teachers sue district, facing health insurance cuts

A screen cap of Pontiac Middle School.
pontiac.k12.mi.us Pontiac School District

Teachers in the struggling Pontiac School District are suing the district after being told their healthcare coverage could get axed.

The teachers who filed the lawsuit are claiming school officials took money designated for their healthcare premiums, and transferred it to the general fund in order to make the district’s finances look better.

Diana Dillaber Murray from The Oakland Press reported:

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Politics & Government
11:49 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Judge orders Snyder administration to produce records re: EM hire

Staff Michigan Municipal League

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration intends to appeal a judge’s order to reveal the names of all the candidates he considered as potential emergency managers for Detroit.

A lawsuit claims the hiring process violated the state’s open meetings law.

The judge ordered the state to turn over e-mails and other records related to the search that culminated in hiring Kevyn Orr to steer Detroit out of a financial crisis. The lawsuit claims the decision was made well before a state board publicly interviewed and voted to hire Orr.

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Politics & Government
5:27 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr discusses financial report

Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr
State of Michigan

After 45 days in office, a report from Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was released this morning, taking an in-depth look at the city’s financial situation.

What’s clear from the 41-page report — Detroit is broke and its finances are in worse shape than previously thought. The city has almost $9.5 billion bonds and other debt, almost $6 billion in unfunded retiree health care, and will end its budget year with a shortfall of more than $160 million.

What do these numbers really mean for the city? And why is there such a disparity between what we’ve heard from city leaders and the report?

Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr joined us in the studio today, to answer these questions and more.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
6:05 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

With 'financial emergency' over in Ecorse, Joyce Parker still watching

Joyce Parker

  State officials say the financial emergency in the city of Ecorse has been resolved.
 
The city has been under the control of an emergency manager since 2009 – when then-Governor Jennifer Granholm made the appointment.
 
Now, word comes that the city’s budget is balanced and a $20 million deficit has been eliminated.
 
But the announcement doesn't mean elected officials are getting their authority back right away. That’s because Joyce Parker – Ecorse's former emergency manager - has given the city a two-year budget that it must follow.
 
Parker – who we should note is also the emergency manager of Allen Park– joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
5:21 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Ecorse financial emergency resolved....BUT......

Ecorse fire department
City of Ecorse

State officials say the financial emergency in the city of Ecorse has been resolved.

Under the direction of emergency manager Joyce Parker, the city's nearly $20 million deficit was eliminated.  Its police and fire departments were merged.   

The city's operating costs were reduced by $4.3 million a year, while its revenues were boosted by $2.3 million. 

And Ecorse's bond rating went from "junk" to "A", with the help of special legislation at the state level.

So, Ecorse's emergency manager is stepping down.  Sort of.

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Politics & Government
2:37 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Comparing the new emergency manager law with the one repealed by voters

Credit Marlon Phillips / Michigan Public Radio

Today's the day.

It's the day the state's new emergency law goes into effect - the day current 'emergency financial managers' become 'emergency managers.'

Last November, Michigan voters repealed the state's much maligned Public Act 4 (emergency manager law). The majority of voters felt the law put too much power in one person's hands.

Legislators reacted to the repeal by passing a modified emergency manager law (Public Act 436).

It restores a lot of the old powers granted to emergency managers under the old law, but with some differences.

Here are some similarities and differences between the old EM law, and the new one.

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Stateside
4:26 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Comparing Detroit's rescue to the auto bailouts

Kate Sumbler Flickr

It’s been a week since Governor Snyder announced Kevyn Orr as Detroit’s emergency manager.

Orr, begins his new job on Monday.

Today, Business Columnist at the Detroit News Danel Howes wrote a column saying Detroit's situation is reminiscent of General Motors circa 2008.

He argues that what it really takes is an outsider - someone who isn’t inside of the financial problem - to fix things.

That’s what happened with the auto bankruptcy as well.

That creates a problem, particularly for Orr. There's a certain level of distrust among Detroiters who think Orr “isn’t one of us” - that he can’t really understand “our” problems.

What of the very strong cry that bringing in this unelected outside manager effectively strips Detroit citizens of their right to elect their leader?

Howes wrote in today’s column:

"Detroit's culture of denial, dysfunction and entitlement, as obvious in the city's slide as it was in the auto bankruptcies, is a primary reason change here eventually is imposed from the outside."

We’ve seen the auto companies come back from the fiscal edge.

And much like what happened with the auto industry, he argues that over time those associated with the past failures begin to be sidelined and new leadership begins to emerge.

This is the narrative that Howes believes we’ll see from Detroit in due time.

To hear our full interview with Howes, click the link above.

Politics & Government
11:04 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Flint leaders delay decision on water pipeline project again

Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright (right) addresses last night's Flint city council meeting
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint city council has delayed a decision on whether to take part in a quarter billion dollar project to tap water from Lake Huron for the city’s drinking water. The panel delayed taking action on the proposal last week as well.

The project has been in development for years. But supporters say they will soon have to start work on the project. They want Flint leaders to decide now if the city is going to be part of the project. 

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Stateside
5:26 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Fixing Detroit's financial issues: A current emergency manager gives his perspective

Lou Schimmel, Pontiac's emergency financial manager.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

What is an actual emergency manager's take on Detroit's financial troubles.

Lou Schimmel has been the appointed emergency manager for Pontiac since March of 2009.

We had Schimmel speak with us on Stateside to get his view of what needs to be done to fix the city's broken finances and his suggestions for fixing Detroit.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:20 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today marks a historic decision.

Governor Rick Snyder announced the appointment of an emergency manager for the city of Detroit.

On today's show, we looked at the many things that will change in the city once it's under state control.

We also talked with the emergency manager of Pontiac to get his view of what needs to be done in the state's largest city.

We also spoke with Columnist Daniel Howes who says don't take bankruptcy out of the equation.

But first, we were joined  with Michigan Radio's Zoe Clark and Tracy Samilton to talk about this afternoon's announcement in Detroit. They told us a little bit more about what the Governor had to say.

Politics & Government
4:53 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Weekly Political Roundup: Emergency managers

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Every week we speak with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.

Today they talk about the review team that Governor Snyder assigned to look into Detroit’s financial situation and it seems likely that the city will end up with an emergency manager. That would bring the number of Michigan cities or school districts under emergency managers up to ten.

Politics & Government
7:21 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Gov. Snyder to discuss Detroit finances Thursday

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is planning to discuss Detroit's financial situation on Thursday.

The governor is expected to hold an afternoon round table with the media in Detroit. Snyder's office says he isn't planning to announce if he'll appoint an emergency manager, but instead to provide an update on where things stand.

The Republican governor has less than a month to decide whether the state will take over the city's broken finances and send in someone to oversee a recovery.

Politics & Government
3:23 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Stateside: What the emergency review means for Detroit

A look into Detroit's finances may determine the cities financial troubles
Flikr

Today is the day the State will released the results of its emergency review into Detroit's finances.

Since late last year, a six-member team has taken what's been called "a deep dive" into the city's records to determine just how massive Detroit's money troubles are.

Is getting this report card going to lead to any better cooperation between Mayor Bing and City Council members?

Does the review team offer suggestions for action, or does it just present "the facts" and let the Governor draw his own conclusions?

Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing bureau chief Rick Pluta talked to us about what to expect from the report.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Judge rules against Pontiac emergency manager on pensions

Lou Schimmel, Pontiac's emergency financial manager.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - A judge says Pontiac's state-appointed emergency financial manager violated the Open Meetings Act in making changes to the city's retiree pension board.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac and the Detroit Free Press report Oakland County Circuit Judge Rae Lee Chabot on Wednesday ruled against Lou Schimmel, who last year cut the pension board from 11 members to five amid concerns about spending.

Chabot says the change "looks like a dictatorship."

Schimmel says he disagrees with the judge's order but he'll comply with the directive. He's working to fix the finances of the cash-strapped city.

The preliminary injunction comes in a lawsuit filed by the City of Pontiac Retired Employees Association. The board is scheduled to meet this month.

   Pontiac's finances have been under state supervision since 2009.

Politics & Government
7:00 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Benton Harbor’s new emergency manager will work in “dog years” to hand over local control

Benton Harbor’s incoming emergency financial manager says he’ll work quickly on a plan to put the city in the black.

Tony Saunders II says no kid aspires to grow up to be an emergency financial manager, but he’s excited about the opportunity. He’s 26-years old, expecting his first child in April. But he says people should consider his experience working in Detroit and Highland Park, not his age.

“I’m not worried about my age and I don’t think others will once they have a chance to meet me and see the pace that I’m willing to work at,” Saunders said.

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Economy
5:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Stateside: Detroit's deficit reaches nearly $327 million, raising question of financial manager

As the city's financial situation worsens, Detroit moves closer to having an emergency financial manager

According to an independent annual audit, Detroit's deficit recently reached almost $327 million.

Detroit Free Press editorial writer Nancy Kaffer addressed the city’s dire financial status.

Kaffer said Detroit is closer to having an emergency financial manager, but was unsure as to how soon it would happen.

“There is a relatively dysfunctional relationship between the Mayor and the Council... you really have to have everybody on board together to get some of the dramatic changes they’re looking for,” said Kaffer.

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Education
8:00 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Many Muskegon Heights students dig the charter company’s curriculum: “It’s fun.”

Students at Edgewood Elementary School learn about philosophy through Mosaica's Paragon curriculum.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

This story is the third in a four-part series about how things are going so far in Michigan's first fully privatized public school district. Find part one here, part two here and part four here.

The decision to convert the Muskegon Heights Public School district into a charter school district was a financial one. But the officials who run the new system hope to improve academics too.

The on-air version of the story. An expanded online version is below.

From the outside, Edgewood Elementary School looks and sounds the same as any other year.

But this year, Mosaica Education, the charter company that’s running the school, hopes a new curriculum, longer school day and year round classes will improve student success.

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