Michael Brown http://michiganradio.org en Flint leaders intend to challenge current emergency financial manager in court http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-leaders-intend-challenge-current-emergency-financial-manager-court <p>Michigan's emergency manager law has been put on hold.</p><p>Its fate will be decided by voters this November.</p><p>In the meantime, cities and school districts once ruled by emergency managers now have emergency <em>financial </em>managers overseeing their budgets.</p><p>Public Act 72 was revived when Public Act 4 went up on the shelf.</p><p>Flint's City Council voted last night to challenge this rollback in court. Kristin Longley of the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/08/flint_protesters_attend_flint.html">Flint Journal</a> reports:</p> Tue, 28 Aug 2012 15:08:27 +0000 Mark Brush 8848 at http://michiganradio.org Flint leaders intend to challenge current emergency financial manager in court Flint's new emergency manager says city does, in fact, need an EM http://michiganradio.org/post/flints-new-emergency-manager-says-city-does-fact-need-em <p align="LEFT">Flint's new emergency financial manager disagrees -- strongly -- with recent assertions by the city council's president that Flint doesn't need an emergency financial manager anymore.  </p><p align="LEFT">Ed Kurtz was Flint's Emergency Financial Manager a decade ago. He says the city is in much worse shape than the first time he was in charge.</p><p align="LEFT">The city has $19 million&nbsp; of debt, and nearly $1.5 billion in underfunded pension and retiree health care costs.</p> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 22:20:16 +0000 Tracy Samilton 8841 at http://michiganradio.org Flint's new emergency manager says city does, in fact, need an EM Flint's City Council President will oppose a new emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/flints-city-council-president-will-oppose-new-emergency-manager <p>Flint&#39;s City Council President opposes the appointment of a new emergency manager for his city.</p> Mon, 06 Aug 2012 16:20:51 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 8556 at http://michiganradio.org Flint's City Council President will oppose a new emergency manager Flint EM lays out public safety plan, city police and fire unions want more http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-em-lays-out-public-safety-plan-city-police-and-fire-unions-want-more <p>Flint Emergency Manager Mike Brown says the city plans to work more with the state police, as well as local and federal prosecutors, to fight the city&rsquo;s crime problem.</p><p>The plan calls for establishing Flint not only as a &lsquo;safe city&rsquo; in reality, but also in people&rsquo;s perception.</p><p>Using outside law enforcement help is a short term part of the plan. &nbsp;&nbsp;Long term, Brown says the city needs to raise millions of dollars in new revenue to hire more police officers and firefighters.</p> Fri, 04 May 2012 18:36:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 7343 at http://michiganradio.org Flint EM lays out public safety plan, city police and fire unions want more Critics lash out at Flint's emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/critics-lash-out-flints-emergency-manager <p>Flint&rsquo;s emergency manager got an earful during a public meeting last night on the budget he imposed on the city last week.</p><p>Emergency manager Michael Brown had planned to take the first half hour of a 90 minute public meeting to review his budget plan and then allow an hour for questions.</p><p>But the budget presentation had barely started, when several people in the nearly full auditorium jumped to their feet to shout down the emergency manager.</p><p>After the outburst, a parade of people took turns at the podium denouncing emergency manager Michael Brown, the law that put him in charge of Flint and the budget he introduced and imposed last week. That budget cuts the city&rsquo;s workforce by about 20 percent and imposes hundreds of dollars in new fees for city water, street light and other city services.</p><p>Flint resident Carolyn Shannon questioned the expertise behind the decision to make deep cuts to the city&rsquo;s police and fire departments.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Even a person off the street&hellip;can cut somebody&rsquo;s throat,&quot; scolded Shannon.</p><p>One man, identified only as Maurice, glared at Brown as he talked about how he can&rsquo;t afford to pay any more taxes.</p><p>&quot;You want to take more from me and my daughter?&quot; the man asked, &quot;You ain&rsquo;t no different than these people that are out here murdering our own children.&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Brown insists the budget cuts and fee increases are needed to address Flint&rsquo;s &nbsp;projected $25 million gap next year. That&#39;s not Flint&#39;s only financial problem. The city is also seeking the state&#39;s OK to sell more than $18 million in loans to pay off the city debts from the past few budget years. Tue, 01 May 2012 04:24:07 +0000 Steve Carmody 7261 at http://michiganradio.org Critics lash out at Flint's emergency manager Flint protestors gather to oppose emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-protestors-gather-oppose-emergency-manager <p>Protesters gathered in Flint to voice their opposition to the emergency manager in their city.</p><p>Since last December, Michael Brown, Flint&#39;s emergency manager, has been making decisions normally reserved for city council and the mayor. He&#39;s expected to present his budget plan for the city during a public meeting with Flint City Council tonight.</p><p>Kristin Longley of the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/04/group_protests_flint_emergency.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&amp;utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+flint_journal_news+%28Flint+Journal+News+-+MLive.com%29">Flint Journal</a> reports the protestors gathered outside Flint City Hall before moving inside.</p><blockquote><p>The group of more than 25 Flint residents and community members braved the rain to protest what they consider &quot;taxation without representation&quot; under the emergency manager in Flint.<br /><br />Brown adopted a budget plan last week that<a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/04/flint_fee_increases_hit_workin.html"> includes fee increases </a>for Flint residents as well as a possible reduction of 19 police officers and 31 firefighters through layoffs and attrition. Overall, city personnel would be reduced by about 150 positions.</p></blockquote><p>Longley reports lifelong Flint resident Ralph Arellano would be willing to pay more taxes for better public safety in Flint - Arello said the emergency manager system &quot;is undemocratic and undermines voters.&quot;</p><blockquote><p>&quot;It&#39;s all about public safety. There&#39;s not one person who lives in Flint who doesn&#39;t have some story about public safety,&quot; said Arellano, who said his home has been broken into twice. &quot;The decisions they&#39;re making are short-term and they&#39;re short-sighted.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Protestors put up garage sale signs with the names of some of Flint&#39;s assets (ex. Brennan Park and Hurley Hospital) that could be sold off by Michael Brown should he decide to do so. Mon, 30 Apr 2012 18:03:25 +0000 Mark Brush 7254 at http://michiganradio.org Flint protestors gather to oppose emergency manager Flint emergency manager imposes contract changes http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-emergency-manager-imposes-contract-changes <p>Flint&#39;s state-appointed emergency financial manager has imposed concessions on two union contracts and pushed through a new city budget for the city.</p><p>The Flint Journal reports the changes were among a dozen orders issued Wednesday by <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/michael-brown">Michael Brown</a>.</p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 11:48:59 +0000 The Associated Press 7209 at http://michiganradio.org Flint emergency manager imposes contract changes Flint budget calls for higher fees/curtailed city services http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-budget-calls-higher-feescurtailed-city-services <p>Next year, the city of Flint will charge residents higher fees in exchange for less service.</p><p>The budget plan unveiled last night was greeted with anger from city residents and city council members.</p><p>The budget plan calls for trimming 20 percent of city government workers from the payroll.&nbsp;&nbsp; Flint police officers and firefighters are not being spared.&nbsp;&nbsp; The emergency manager didn&#39;t include public safety officers in the budget whose positions are funded with grant money that hasn&#39;t been secured yet.</p> Tue, 24 Apr 2012 02:18:29 +0000 Steve Carmody 7164 at http://michiganradio.org Flint budget calls for higher fees/curtailed city services Flint city council to be briefed on next year's budget by emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-city-council-be-briefed-next-years-budget-emergency-manager <p>The Flint City Council will hear this afternoon how the city&rsquo;s emergency manager plans to spend the city&rsquo;s money next year.</p><p>Emergency Manager Michael Brown has been poring over Flint&rsquo;s finances since he was appointed by Governor Snyder in December to deal with the city&rsquo;s &ldquo;financial crisis.&rdquo;</p><p>Brown&rsquo;s budget plan for next year is expected to reflect the need for further financial belt tightening for a city that has already felt the pinch of past cuts.</p><p>Flint&rsquo;s finance director has said the budget will probably show the city will have to do &ldquo;less with less.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; That may include layoffs and furlough days for city employees.</p><p>Several city unions agreed to contract concessions this month.</p><p>The emergency manager&rsquo;s budget plan may also include selling bonds to address Flint&rsquo;s long-term debt problem. Mon, 23 Apr 2012 13:34:47 +0000 Steve Carmody 7148 at http://michiganradio.org Flint's emergency manager working out new union contracts http://michiganradio.org/post/flints-emergency-manager-working-out-new-union-contracts <p>Flint&#39;s emergency manager, Michael Brown, has been working out new contract deals with the city&#39;s unions. Public safety unions have been working under expired contracts in Flint for more than two years.</p><p>Kristin Longley of the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/04/city_supervisors_union_to_vote.html#incart_river_default">Flint Journal</a> reports Brown has reached agreements with three of the city&#39;s six employee bargaining units (the police sergeants union, the police captains and lieutenants union, and the firefighters union).</p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:50:17 +0000 Mark Brush 7127 at http://michiganradio.org Flint's emergency manager working out new union contracts Two police unions approve new contracts with Flint http://michiganradio.org/post/two-police-unions-approve-new-contracts-flint <p>Flint emergency manager Michael Brown says two police unions have tentatively approved new contracts with the city.</p><p>More from Kristin Longley at the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/04/flint_police_unions_pass_tenta.html">Flint Journal</a>:</p><p>The members of the Flint sergeants union and the lieutenants and captains union voted on the proposed contracts Thursday, he said.<br /><br />Brown said it was a significant accomplishment that the parties were able to reach a consensus. The city&#39;s four public safety unions have been operating under expired contracts for more than two years.</p><p>Details have yet to be released. Brown said he expects to sign the contracts soon to make them official. Fri, 13 Apr 2012 15:53:25 +0000 Mark Brush 7035 at http://michiganradio.org Two police unions approve new contracts with Flint Flint's emergency manager wants more time to work on union contracts http://michiganradio.org/post/flints-emergency-manager-wants-more-time-work-union-contracts <p>Earlier this week, Flint emergency manager said he worked out a deal with the city&#39;s firefighter&#39;s union and hoped to work out deals with the city&#39;s other unions by Friday.</p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/04/flint_emergency_manager_cancel.html">The Flint Journal</a> reports this morning that Brown will not meet that deadline:</p><blockquote><p>Flint emergency manager Michael Brown has canceled this month&#39;s meeting with city council members until further notice.<br /><br />Brown had planned to present council on Monday with a 2013 budget, but said Thursday that he won&#39;t meet today&#39;s deadline for addressing union contracts or the budget and wants more time.</p></blockquote><p>Brown says there&#39;s no new firm deadline for hammering out new contracts. Fri, 06 Apr 2012 14:19:49 +0000 Mark Brush 6935 at http://michiganradio.org Flint's emergency manager wants more time to work on union contracts Flint's firefighters union and emergency manager reach agreement http://michiganradio.org/post/flints-firefighters-union-and-emergency-manager-reach-agreement <p>Flint&#39;s emergency manager, Michael Brown, and the city&#39;s firefighters union have worked out an agreement over concessions, Kristin Longley of the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/04/flint_fire_union_reaches_tenta.html">Flint Journal</a> reports:</p><blockquote><p>Brown said today that, as of this morning, it&#39;s the only signed agreement reached so far. The city has been talking with each of the six employee bargaining units, Brown has said.<br /><br />He declined to comment on the details of the proposal, saying that the fire union members are expected to review the agreement and vote on it in about 10 days.</p></blockquote><p>Brown hopes to have plan for the city&#39;s other unions in place by Friday. He&#39;s working to wipe out a budget deficit in Flint of around $11 million. Wed, 04 Apr 2012 15:06:59 +0000 Mark Brush 6902 at http://michiganradio.org Flint's firefighters union and emergency manager reach agreement Talking emergency managers and having some ale in Flint http://michiganradio.org/post/talking-emergency-managers-and-having-some-ale-flint <p>A full house turned out to hear <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/commentary-public-reaction-detroits-fiscal-crisis">Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry</a> lead a discussion on the state’s emergency manager law last night.</p><p>The event was part of the station’s Issues &amp; Ale series, and was held at Blackstone’s Pub &amp; Grill in downtown Flint.</p><p>Panelists included:</p><ul><li>Fred Leeb, former Emergency Financial Manager for the city of Pontiac,</li><li>Dr. Eric Scorsone, Co-Director of the State &amp; Local Government Program at Michigan State University,</li><li>and Brandon A. Jessup, Chairman and CEO of Michigan Forward</li></ul><p>The panelists fielded questions from both Lessenberry and the audience on a variety of subjects related to Public Act 4, including the impact of state revenue sharing cuts, the constitutionality of state appointed emergency managers, and alternatives for cities in financial crisis.</p><p>We also surveyed the audience to get their opinion on the Emergency Manager law.</p><p>Of those responding,</p><ul><li>47% opposed the law, 23% were in favor, and 30% were undecided.</li><li>Of those opposed to the law, 36% felt it was unconstitutional, 26% objected because it gives emergency managers too much power, 18% opposed because emergency managers can modify/terminate contracts, and 13% because it strips local elected officials of their authority.</li></ul><p>The event took place only hours after the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/flint-emergency-manager-back-charge">Michigan Court of Appeals put a stay on a lower court ruling</a> and reinstated Michael Brown as Flint’s emergency manager.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://michigan-new.publicbroadcasting.net/issuesandale.html">Issues and Ale</a> is an event series co-sponsored by Michigan Radio and the Center for Michigan designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing Michigan... in an informal atmosphere. Tue, 27 Mar 2012 17:56:51 +0000 Steve Chrypinski 6804 at http://michiganradio.org Talking emergency managers and having some ale in Flint Flint emergency manager back in charge http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-emergency-manager-back-charge <p>Flint&rsquo;s emergency manager is back in charge of the city.&nbsp; At least, temporarily.&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://platform.publicbroadcasting.net/michigan-new/media/docs/FlintEMorder.pdf">Michigan Court of Appeals today </a>put on hold a lower court ruling that left questions about who was in charge in Flint.</p><p>Last week, Ingham&nbsp;County circuit court judge&nbsp;Rosemarie Aquilina ruled that the state financial review team that recommended the appointment of an emergency manager in Flint had violated Michigan&rsquo;s open meetings law.&nbsp; The judge decided that the appointment and all the decisions emergency manager Michael Brown had made since December were invalidate.</p><p>The governor&rsquo;s office appealed the judge&rsquo;s order, describing it as &quot;devastating.&quot;</p><p>The Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the case.&nbsp;&nbsp; The court put a stay on the lower court ruling and reinstated Michael Brown as Flint&rsquo;s emergency manager.</p><p>In her order last week,&nbsp; Judge Aquilina&nbsp;had&nbsp;directed&nbsp;Flint&#39;s mayor and city council&nbsp;to resume&nbsp;their&nbsp;roles.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;One of the first&nbsp;things Michael Brown did as emergency manager was to limit&nbsp;the power of Flint&#39;s elected&nbsp;leaders.&nbsp;</p><p>Flint Mayor Dayne Walling&nbsp;issued a statement after today&#39;s ruling of the Court of Appeals:</p><p>&quot;As the legal challenges to PA4 move through the courts system, the Flint community needs to work together to address our long-standing challenges with finances, public safety and economic development. While the courts are flip-flopping on the critical issue of the Open Meetings requirement, I will work every day to make our community a better place for families and businesses.&quot;</p><p>The timing of the Court of&nbsp;Appeals&nbsp;decision today&nbsp;could be critical.&nbsp;&nbsp; Flint, like other Michigan cities, is drafting its budget for next year.</p><p>Flint faces a budget deficit that could be as high as $20 million. Mon, 26 Mar 2012 20:32:26 +0000 Steve Carmody 6791 at http://michiganradio.org Flint emergency manager back in charge Michigan governor's office asks court to put "devastating" order on hold http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-governors-office-asks-court-put-devastating-order-hold <p>The governor&rsquo;s office is asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to overrule an order by a lower court judge that invalidated the appointment of an emergency manager to run the city of Flint.</p><p>This week, Ingham County circuit court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled that the state panel the governor appointed to review Flint&rsquo;s finances failed to abide by Michigan&rsquo;s open meetings law.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The judge found that violation invalidated the appointment of emergency manager Michael Brown and all his decisions since taking over Flint in December.</p><p>In the legal paperwork filed with the Court of Appeals, state&nbsp;officials are asking the court to put the lower court judge&rsquo;s order on hold and eventually toss it out completely.</p><p>The legal brief describes the judge&rsquo;s ruling as &ldquo;devastating&rdquo; since it puts the city &ldquo;back to square one&rdquo; even as it teeters on the &ldquo;brink of insolvency&rdquo;.&nbsp;</p><p>Flint is an estimated $20 million dollars in the hole&nbsp;and only has $10 million&nbsp; in hand.&nbsp; Fri, 23 Mar 2012 19:00:36 +0000 Steve Carmody 6763 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan governor's office asks court to put "devastating" order on hold Governor's office expected to ask higher court to overturn ruling ousting Flint's emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/governors-office-expected-ask-higher-court-overturn-ruling-ousting-flints-emergency-manager <p>The governor&rsquo;s office is expected to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals as early as today&nbsp;concerning a judge&rsquo;s ruling that ousted Flint&rsquo;s emergency manager.</p><p>Judge Rosemarie Aquilina&nbsp;also ordered the reinstatement of Flint&rsquo;s mayor and city council.</p><p>The judge found the financial review panel that recommended the emergency manager&rsquo;s appointment in Flint violated Michigan&rsquo;s open meetings law.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 21 Mar 2012 05:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 6718 at http://michiganradio.org Governor's office expected to ask higher court to overturn ruling ousting Flint's emergency manager Judge: Flint emergency manager out/mayor and city council back in charge http://michiganradio.org/post/judge-flint-emergency-manager-outmayor-and-city-council-back-charge <p>&nbsp;Flint&rsquo;s emergency manager is out of the job&nbsp;(for now).&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And the city&rsquo;s mayor and city council are back in charge of the financially troubled city.&nbsp;</p><p>Today&#39;s court hearing centered on whether the panel, appointed&nbsp;by the governor, to review&nbsp;the city of Flint&#39;s finances violated the state&#39;s&nbsp;open meetings law.&nbsp;&nbsp; An&nbsp;attorney for the state&nbsp;insisted the&nbsp;process followed by the panel was not &#39;secretive&#39;&nbsp;even though it&#39;s&nbsp;meetings were&nbsp;not open to the public.</p> Tue, 20 Mar 2012 21:39:47 +0000 Steve Carmody 6716 at http://michiganradio.org Judge: Flint emergency manager out/mayor and city council back in charge Court hearing may determine immediate future of Flint emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/court-hearing-may-determine-immediate-future-flint-emergency-manager <p>A court hearing this afternoon&nbsp;may decide if Flint&rsquo;s emergency manager can once again run the city.</p><p>Michael Brown has been in limbo since last Thursday.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s when a judge issued a temporary restraining order&nbsp;preventing him from acting as Flint&rsquo;s emergency manager.</p><p>Brown&rsquo;s been on the job since December.&nbsp; But city unions claim the panel that recommended the appointment of an emergency manager in Flint violated Michigan&rsquo;s open meetings law.</p> Tue, 20 Mar 2012 05:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 6701 at http://michiganradio.org Court hearing may determine immediate future of Flint emergency manager Judge strips power from Flint's emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/judge-strips-power-flints-emergency-manager <p>&nbsp;A judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing Flint&rsquo;s emergency&nbsp;manager from &lsquo;taking any action&rsquo; on behalf of the city.</p><p>The&nbsp;city&#39;s&nbsp;unions&nbsp;sought the court order claiming the emergency manager has violated Michigan&rsquo;s open meetings law.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:49:40 +0000 Steve Carmody 6661 at http://michiganradio.org Judge strips power from Flint's emergency manager