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Thu February 2, 2012
Flint's emergency manager meets with city residents for the first time
A capacity crowd filled a community center auditorium in Flint last night to hear from the city’s emergency manager.
Michael Brown has been running Flint city hall for two months, since Gov. Snyder appointed him to address the city's 'financial crisis'.
Last night's meeting teetered between calls for action to questions about the legality of Michigan’s emergency manager law. Several speakers complained about why and how the emergency manager is running the city of Flint.
"I would just like to know if you personally feel that your position is unconstitutional?" asked Erin Erwin. The Flint woman does not believe P.A. 4 is constitutional.
Michael Brown defended his appointment as emergency manager. He conceded that maybe P.A. 4 was the perfect answer, but Brown suggested cities in a financial crisis like Flint have few other options.
“States need an option when municipalities cannot balance their budget….cannot meet the needs of people….(The states) need some kind of mechanism," Brown told the audience.
Brown is considering several options to whittle down Flint’s 11 million dollar budget deficit. He disagreed with one speaker who asked for public votes on any major decisions.
“If I got in to putting everything on the ballot that we need to make decisions on," Brown said, "we would get nowhere and we don’t have much time.”
Brown says all options are on the table.