A full house turned out to hear Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry lead a discussion on the state’s emergency manager law last night.
The event was part of the station’s Issues & Ale series, and was held at Blackstone’s Pub & Grill in downtown Flint.
- Fred Leeb, former Emergency Financial Manager for the city of Pontiac,
- Dr. Eric Scorsone, Co-Director of the State & Local Government Program at Michigan State University,
- and Brandon A. Jessup, Chairman and CEO of Michigan Forward
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.
We also surveyed the audience to get their opinion on the Emergency Manager law.
Of those responding,
- 47% opposed the law, 23% were in favor, and 30% were undecided.
- 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.
The event took place only hours after the Michigan Court of Appeals put a stay on a lower court ruling and reinstated Michael Brown as Flint’s emergency manager.
Issues and Ale 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.