Ed Kurtz

Politics & Government
2:52 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Flint's emergency manager submitting resignation, as expected

Flint Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s Emergency Manager submitted his letter of resignation today.     

Ed Kurtz has long said he planned to step down at the close of the fiscal year at the end of June.  His letter of resignation simply makes that official.

Kurtz was appointed as Flint’s emergency financial manager last summer, after the city’s previous emergency manager had to step down because of changes in the law.

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Politics & Government
2:22 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Income taxes could go up in Flint

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Last night, Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reported on the city of Flint's budget.

While the emergency manager delivered a balanced budget for next year, the city council was concerned the budget cuts would negatively impact basic city services. 

This morning, MLive and the Flint Journal reported that the emergency manager, Ed Kurtz, wants to raise income taxes in order to stabilize the city's finances.

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Politics & Government
7:20 am
Tue May 21, 2013

In this morning’s news: Democratic insurance reform, tax increase in Flint, state officer salaries

Morning News Roundup, Tuesday, May 21, 2013
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Detroit Democrats propose auto insurance reform

Democratic state lawmakers from Detroit are proposing their own strategy to overhaul auto insurance in Michigan.

“The Democrats oppose Governor Snyder’s plan to cap insurance payouts for catastrophic injuries sustained in car accidents...Detroit caucus members say they’ll propose other measures, like requiring insurance companies to justify rate increases,” Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek reports.

Flint’s EM recommends income tax increase

Flint’s emergency manager says his budget plan for the next year is balanced, but he warns that without new tax revenue sources, the city will again fall into debt.

“[Emergency Manager Ed] Kurtz says the loss of grant funding and declining property tax revenues will leave the city millions of dollars in the hole each year through 2018. Kurtz says Flint needs to raise its city income tax rate. Otherwise, Kurtz says Flint will face another round of budget cuts, including to police and fire,” according to Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody.

Salaries for state officials expected to stay the same

“A state salary commission is expected to recommend no salary hikes for the governor or legislators. Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders sent word they’re not seeking bigger paychecks. There could be a battle over judges’ salaries, though, when the State Officers Compensation Commission meets today. Some judges have asked for a bump after a 10-year salary freeze,” Rick Pluta reports.

Politics & Government
5:01 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Flint's budget balanced, but multimillion-dollar deficits loom

Flint City Hall (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s emergency manager is delivering a balanced budget for next year, but the future may not be as bright.

The city of Flint is closing out its current fiscal year with a balanced budget. Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz says next year’s budget should be balanced as well. City officials gave state Treasury Department officials a briefing on the budget, before showing Flint’s city council the plan.

Flint city council members expressed concern that the proposed FY2014 budget is a little too tight.

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Politics & Government
12:23 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Flint's emergency manager to rollout the city's FY2014 budget today

Flint Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s emergency manager will unveil the city’s budget plan for next year later today.

Elected officials in most Michigan cities have spent the past month or so holding public meetings to discuss and get public feedback on their spending plans for next year.

But in Flint, the emergency manager has sidelined the mayor and city council

So the budget has been drafted behind closed doors.

The plan will be made public late this afternoon, after state officials have had a look and possibly made some changes.

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Newsmaker Interviews
9:51 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Mayor Dayne Walling on financial future of Flint

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling
Facebook

Flint’s Emergency Manager, Ed Kurtz, says he will resign come June 30th, which may put Flint a step closer to returning to local control. Flint Mayor Dayne Walling talks with Jennifer White about the financial future of Flint.

Flint’s city council recently passed a resolution asking Governor Rick Snyder to remove the city’s emergency manager and appoint a transition advisory team.

“There are a number of requirements in the law that would have to be met by the appointed manager before a transition board could be put in place, such as the adoption of a two-year budget. So, city council leadership and I have been calling on for those steps to get done as soon as possible. The city of Flint does face financial challenges, let’s get addressed as soon as possible so we can move on,” says Mayor Walling.

When asked how financially healthy Flint is right now, Walling says:

“It’s marginally stable. But our position is that it’s going to take some long-term planning, some serious community partnerships to get the city to where it’s more sustainable going forward. And that work cannot be done effectively by an appointed manager.”

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
11:47 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Could there be a "Water War" between Flint and Detroit?

Flint leaders want to change where their city gets its tap water. But Detroit is fighting the change.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A battle is brewing over where the city of Flint will get its tap water.

Last month, the Flint city council voted to join a project to get fresh water from Lake Huron.   Supporters say the project will save the city millions of dollars by replacing its current water source: the city of Detroit.

But the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is asking the state Treasury Department to veto the plan.

Bill Johnson is with the DWSD. He says state officials need to step in to prevent a “water war.”

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Politics & Government
12:27 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Flint city council asks governor to begin the process away from an emergency manager

Flint residents have long opposed the emergency manager appointed by the governor to run their city (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint City Council has taken a first step toward taking back control of the city’s finances.

The council last night unanimously passed a resolution asking Governor Rick Snyder to remove the city’s emergency manager.
 

Flint city officials want the governor to replace the emergency manager with a transition team to phase out state control of the city’s finances over two years.

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Politics & Government
12:07 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Flint leaders look to emerge from emergency manager control

Many people in Flint have not been happy to have an emergency manager running their city. (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint city council is expected to vote tonight on a plan that may set the stage for the city to emerge from state oversight. 

The council will consider asking the governor to appoint a “receivership transition advisory board.”    

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says the board would guide the city after the departure of the emergency manager.

“This is an area of the law that we want to take advantage of,” says Walling, “We want assistance with our revenue estimates…with budget amendments.”

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Politics & Government
12:44 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Flint city council to consider signing on to water pipeline project

Flint leaders have been looking for ways to ease the city's rising water costs (including tapping the Flint River). But tonight the city council will consider joining a regional plan to get water from Lake Huron.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A decision could come tonight that may determine if the city of Flint will look elsewhere to get its tap water.

The Flint city council will consider whether to sign on with a project to build a pipeline to carry water from Lake Huron to Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac Counties.

The quarter billion dollar Karegnondi Water Authority project has been in the discussion stages for years, but actual work on the pipeline may begin soon.

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Politics & Government
12:23 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Flint telling people who haven't paid their city income tax: Pay Up Now

Downtown Flint (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is hoping to collect some unpaid city income taxes. The money could help reduce Flint’s crushing budget deficit.

The city of Flint is struggling to reduce its $19 million budget deficit.

To chip away at part of that, city officials plan to pressure people who haven’t paid their city income taxes for a while.

The city estimates that it’s owed between $300,000 and $400,000 in unpaid income taxes for just 2010.

Politics & Government
11:41 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Companies refuse to pay Flint false alarm bills

Flint is charging alarm companies for false alarm bills.
Flint Michigan Facebook.com

Alarm companies in Flint are refusing to pay nearly $134,000 in bills from the city of Flint related to police response to false alarm calls.

David Harris of the Flint Journal reports:

The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan is fighting a policy in Flint that bills the alarm company directly as opposed to the customer, said Karen Majeske, the association's board director.

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Politics & Government
8:17 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Flint's mayor talks about violent crime, budget deficit and 'reconstruction'

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling delivered a wide ranging speech on Monday, outlining the 'State of the City'
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint mayor Dayne Walling says his city must now make a transition to an era of 'reconstruction' after a 'generation of decline.'

Walling told the audience at his ‘State of the City’ address Monday that in order to begin that transition Flint must deal with its crime problem.

Flint had the worst violent crime rate in the nation last year. 

“We have lost too many lives. Too many of our promising youth who were confined to environments that were always dangerous and all too often became deadly,” Walling told his audience.

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Politics & Government
3:29 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Flint outsourcing trash collection

24 Flint city workers are losing their jobs as the city outsources trash collection in the city
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A private company will start picking up Flint’s residential trash next month.

Emergency Financial Manager Ed Kurtz says Republic Services can handle Flint’s waste collection for a million dollars a year less than the city can itself.    The two sides signed a contract this week. 

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Politics & Government
2:11 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

State changing the hiring rules for Michigan's emergency financial managers

Former Flint Public Safety Administrator Barnett Jones (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The state Treasury Department is changing the rules for people hired by emergency financial managers.

Barnett Jones was hired last year as Flint’s Public Safety Administrator by the city’s emergency manager.  He resigned earlier this month after it was discovered he had a second full time job as the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department security director.

To avoid having that happen again, the state Treasury Department is inserting language in future contracts that says emergency financial manager appointees can not engage in other employment, unless approved by the EFM.

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Politics & Government
7:13 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

'Concern' over the phase out of Michigan's Personal Property Tax

Ed Kurtz, Flint's Emergency Financial Manager
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s Emergency Financial Manager says he’s ‘concerned’ about ending Michigan’s Personal Property tax.

Governor Snyder signed the phase out of the tax on business equipment today.

Flint relies on the tax for about 10% of its property tax revenues.

Ed Kurtz is Flint’s Emergency Financial Manager.   He hopes the legislature will help cities replace the money they’ll lose.  

Kurtz needs every dollar he can get to lift Flint from its multi-million dollar budget deficit.

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Politics & Government
9:02 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Flint leaders to talk with state officials about water pipeline

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Leaders from Flint will meet with state officials in Lansing tomorrow. The conversation will be about water.

Flint has been getting its municipal water from Detroit’s water system for more than 30 years.   But Flint officials say the Detroit water is becoming more and more expensive, and their city needs an alternative.

They want to be part of a project to tap water from Lake Huron.

“We expect that within 36 months…we could have a fresh, raw water supply to our water treatment plant in Flint,” says Howard Croft, Flint's director of infrastructure.

Politics & Government
6:50 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Flint's Smith Village moves forward

Smith Village in Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A stalled housing project in Flint is finally moving forward.

Smith Village has been a longtime headache for Flint city leaders.

The Smith Village project started in 1998 when the federal government gave the city of Flint money to build low and moderate income homes.  The plan was to rebuild a neighborhood with more than 80 new, low-to-moderate income homes.

But numerous delays and lawsuits stalled the development.

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Flint
1:24 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Flint to resume tearing down blighted homes

file photo
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is restarting its derelict home demolition program.

The program was stalled earlier this year because of a lack of money.

Flint’s Emergency Financial Manager Ed Kurtz says the city plans to use some federal grant money to tear down abandoned homes that have become public safety problems.

“Hopefully, with the 2.3 million we can maybe get somewhere…around 300 homes,” says Kurtz,  “Just to put it into perspective….there’s probably some ten thousand properties in the city that would be subject to demolition.”

11:52 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Flint's emergency financial manager: City still facing financial emergency

Lead in text: 
The city is still carrying debts that add up to $19 million. Emergency financial manager Ed Kurtz says services have been cut to the bone. Tax increases could be coming.
FLINT, MI -- In his first news conference since being appointed, Flint emergency financial manager Ed Kurtz said the city is "still in a financial emergency" that calls for a tax increase to avoid major cuts to city services.

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