emergency financial manager

Politics & Government
12:51 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Benton Harbor emergency financial manager: “Citizens have to pay the piper”

Joe Harris greets reporters during a press conference Monday afternoon.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Two weeks after voters in Benton Harbor rejected a millage renewal that represents about 20-percent of the city’s revenue, the city’s emergency financial manager is laying out a few grim options.

EFM Joe Harris says one option is eliminating the police force and contracting public safety through the Berrien County Sheriff's Department; similar to what the City of Pontiac did recently.

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Law
2:14 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Lawsuit continues: Emergency financial managers not legal

The lawsuit contents emergency financial managers, such as Roy Roberts, are not valid under the law.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

An 'emergency request' has been filed today with the Michigan Supreme Court asking that Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager Roy Roberts be removed from office.

Highland Park School Board member and union activist Robert Davis argues that the law supporting Roberts' position is no longer valid.

It's an argument the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed on last week.

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Politics & Government
1:22 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Will new emergency manager plan be hybrid of old laws?

Governor Snyder advocated to keep Public Act 4 in the runup to the last election.
YouTube

What do you get when you take Michigan’s past two emergency manager laws, Public Act 72 and the recently repealed Public Act 4, and add them together?

Public Act 76, of course.

That is the working title of a suggested hybrid law outlined in a state Treasury Department memo obtained by the Detroit News.

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Politics & Government
12:11 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Commentary: Decision time for Detroit

Essay

The election may have settled some things, but it has left the state of Michigan with an overwhelming problem that we have to solve soon, or suffer devastating consequences. Consequences that will affect us all, whether we live in Monroe or Marquette.

And that problem is the City of Detroit. Once again, the troubled and impoverished city is fast running out of cash.

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Politics & Government
7:45 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Allen Park gets emergency financial manager; prompts EFM shuffle in other communities

Joyce Parker will start as the emergency financial manager of the City of Allen Park on Monday.
Joyce Parker

The City of Allen Park is the latest to get a state appointed emergency financial manager. The move affects who’s in charge in some other communities who already have emergency managers.

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Education
7:53 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Muskegon Heights will vote on renewing millage for privatized public schools

Emergency financial manager Don Weatherspoon speaks to parents at a public forum in May 2012.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The emergency financial manager of Muskegon Heights Public Schools is asking voters to renew an operating millage for the next 16 years.

“The outcome of this millage will change the future of Muskegon Heights forever,” says a letter the school district’s emergency financial manager Don Weatherspoon sent home to parents this week.

Weatherspoon privatized the school district so he could focus on paying off its $16 million debt. That debt is mostly owed to the State of Michigan.

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Politics & Government
7:29 am
Fri September 28, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Schuette cautious about Blue Cross-Blue Shield overhaul

"Hearings continue at the state Capitol on the future of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan. Attorney General Bill Schuette showed up to urge a cautious approach to overhauling the state’s largest health insurer. The attorney general would give up a considerable amount of oversight under the plan proposed by Governor Rick Snyder. It would convert Blue Cross from a tax-exempt charity to a member-owned not-for-profit company. Bill Schuette says he wants Blue Cross and its assets audited to make sure this is a fair deal for Michiganders. Schuette says he’s not out to stop the changes. Governor Snyder and Blue Cross executives want the switch done by the end of the year. They say the changes are needed because the new federal health care law will change the mission of the Blues," Rick Pluta reports.

More on the EM saga

The debate over emergency managers and emergency financial managers has been heating up. The Michigan Supreme Court last month ruled a union-backed referendum to repeal the law could go on the ballot. "The leader of the Michigan Senate says he and fellow Republican colleagues are armed with a proposal to replace the state law that lets emergency managers take over local governments in case voters strike it down in November. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville told The Associated Press yesterday that a draft is under legal review. The behind-the-scenes effort aims to keep a form of the contentious law on the books. Richardville says it acknowledges some concerns by critics, who say it takes too much power from local leaders struggling with budget deficits," the AP reports.

Trying to uncover death of former Teamsters boss

The Department of Environment Equality work to uncover the death of a former Teamsters boss.  "Soil samples will be taken from beneath a Detroit-area driveway in the search for the body of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. The Department of Environmental Equality plans to start its work this morning in Roseville. Authorities are investigating a man's claim that he saw a body buried under the driveway 35 years ago," the AP reports.

Politics & Government
12:03 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Elected officials in Benton Harbor take steps to regain control of their city

Benton Harbor City Hall
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

A state appointee has run the cash-strapped city for more than two years. Former Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Joe Harris the city’s emergency financial manager in March 2010.

Now elected leaders have set a goal for him to leave by December 2013. They hope to get a $7 million emergency loan from the state to help get Benton Harbor out of its “financial emergency”.

Mayor James Hightower says the loan would be “a game changer”.

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Education
1:48 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Charter company faces challenges running public school district in first weeks of class

Mosaica was hired in July, 2012 to run the schools. (L toR) Mosaica Regional Vice President Alena Zachery Ross, Mosaica founder and President Gene Eidelman, and Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The first two weeks of class have presented some obstacles for Michigan’s first fully privatized public school district.

Muskegon Heights schools' emergency financial manager hired Mosaica Education, a charter school company, in July to run the K-12 system while he focuses on paying off the district’s debt. Highland Park schools’ EFM took the same option later that month.

Alena Zachery-Ross is the top administrator at the new Muskegon Height Public School Academy System. She’s very positive, but admits the first two weeks didn’t go “as smoothly” as she expected.

“There are all these things that you don’t think of. There are small details that we want to ensure are taken care of immediately but they take time,” Zachery-Ross said. She says these 'day-to-day' details are important but she must stick to a priority list.

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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.
week in michigan politics
7:55 am
Wed September 12, 2012

The week in Michigan politics

cnc photos flickr

Every Wednesday Morning Edition host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about the latest in Michigan politics. This week they talk about updates to emergency financial managers in Allen Park and Flint, the future of Belle Isle and the proposed overhaul to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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