Lou Schimmel

Politics & Culture
5:24 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The deadline to formally object to Detroit's bankruptcy filing has come and gone as yesterday was the deadline to file challenges to the city's eligibility for Chapter 9 protection. On today's show: we took a look at the objections and where things go from here.

Also, emergency manager Kevyn Orr has requested that the collection of city-owned art at the DIA be formally appraised. What does this mean for the museum, the city of Detroit, and the art world?

And, the Amish community in North America has grown 20% over the past five years. We explored what's behind the growth.

First on the show, after nearly 5 years, the city of Pontiac's financial emergency is officially resolved.

Emergency manager Lou Schimmel resigned yesterday, but the state will still have a heavy hand in the city's finances.

A Transition Advisory Board appointed by Governor Snyder will have to approve all major budget decisions.

Lou Schimmel joined us today.

Stateside
4:47 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Pontiac emergency manager Lou Schimmel is out of office

After nearly five years, the city of Pontiac's financial emergency is officially resolved.

Emergency manager Lou Schimmel resigned yesterday, but the state will still have a heavy hand in the city's finances.

A "transition advisory board" appointed by Governor Snyder will have to approve all major budget decisions.

Lou Schimmel was appointed to that board. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
3:01 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Healthcare coverage suspended for city of Pontiac retirees

Downtown Pontiac
Andrew Jameson Wikimedia

The city's emergency manager, Lou Schimmel, said the cuts are necessary to keep the city from municipal bankruptcy.

More from Chad Livengood of the Detroit News:

A state board Monday approved the Pontiac emergency manager’s plan to suspend health insurance coverage for nearly 1,000 city retirees for two years and give them $400 more a month in their pension checks in lieu of the benefit.

Emergency Manager Louis Schimmel had threatened the specter of Pontiac plunging into bankruptcy if the state’s Emergency Loan Board didn’t approve the plan to cut the $6 million expense.

Retired firefighters and police officers will not be affected by the plan.

Back in April, Schimmel said cutting retiree healthcare would "structurally fix the city financially." 

Schimmel is expected to end his term as Pontiac's emergency manager at the end of this month. 

Politics & Government
12:47 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Pontiac emergency manager says city should be ok after he leaves

Downtown Pontiac.
user dt10111 Flickr

The Detroit News asked Pontiac Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel if the city could go bankrupt after he leaves.

Schimmel said that won't happen if they follow his plan:

Pontiac is into its third emergency manager, Louis Schimmel, who is scheduled to leave his job this month but first will present a two-year plan to avoid bankruptcy to citizens at a meeting at 9 a.m. at City Hall.

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Politics & Government
9:50 am
Wed June 5, 2013

This week in Michigan politics: No Medicaid expansion, Terri Lynn Land, Hamtramck emergency

cncphotos flickr

This week in Michigan politics, Kyle Norris and Jack Lessenberry talk about Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate, and the financial emergency in the city of Hamtramck.

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Politics & Government
10:47 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Pontiac schools headed for an emergency manager?

City of Pontiac.

Will Michigan's next emergency manager operate the Pontiac School District?

More from the Associated Press:

Officials plan to wrap up a review by next month of the Pontiac School District's finances that could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager or other measures.

District officials recently were notified by state Superintendent Mike Flanagan of the preliminary financial review, which is to begin Monday and end by May 24.

In a letter, Flanagan describes the public school district's situation as "critical and alarming."

Read more
Politics & Government
11:38 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Judge rules against Pontiac emergency manager on pensions

Lou Schimmel, Pontiac's emergency financial manager.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - A judge says Pontiac's state-appointed emergency financial manager violated the Open Meetings Act in making changes to the city's retiree pension board.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac and the Detroit Free Press report Oakland County Circuit Judge Rae Lee Chabot on Wednesday ruled against Lou Schimmel, who last year cut the pension board from 11 members to five amid concerns about spending.

Chabot says the change "looks like a dictatorship."

Schimmel says he disagrees with the judge's order but he'll comply with the directive. He's working to fix the finances of the cash-strapped city.

The preliminary injunction comes in a lawsuit filed by the City of Pontiac Retired Employees Association. The board is scheduled to meet this month.

   Pontiac's finances have been under state supervision since 2009.

Politics & Government
1:53 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Pontiac's City Council challenges city's emergency manager

Pontiac's City Council

The Pontiac City Council is trying to reclaim its authority lost to the state-appointed emergency financial manager.

Louis Schimmel became the cash-strapped city's third emergency manager in 2011.

The Detroit Free Press reports that yesterday, all present council members approved a resolution demanding that authority over all city finances and financial decision-making be restored to the mayor and council.

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Politics
1:27 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Pontiac EM says no to Silverdome tax break

user Alex simple wikimedia commons

Lou Schimmel, Pontiac's state-appointed Emergency Manager, has denied a tax-break request from the owners of the Pontiac Silverdome.

The former home of the Detroit Lions is owned by Triple Investment Group who were seeking a special break to make improvements to the stadium, but as the Associated Press reports, the work they were planning wasn't what Schimmel had in mind:

Read more
Politics
12:45 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Pontiac firefighters protest plans to shutter department

Police and fire services are often on the chopping block when city budgets run tight. The emergency manager in Pontiac wants to close the city's department.
user derekskey Flickr

First the police department, and now the fire department.

The city of Pontiac, like many cities across the U.S., is facing a future with less money.

The state-appointed emergency manager in Pontiac, Lou Schimmel, wants to close the city's fire department.

From WXYZ News:

Closing the fire department, Schimmel says, is one part of the solution and will save the city $3 million. Schimmel says pay and benefit cuts will come with the deal. "If we do everything the same, we'll be out of business and nobody's going to get paid," Schimmel says. "They'll all lose their jobs." Schimmel has given firefighters until Friday to ratify the deal.

The Detroit Free Press quotes Kenneth Estell, a trustee with Pontiac Firefighters Union Local 376 who says the union will fight the changes "to the end":

“We love our jobs. We love our citizens. There’s a lot of tradition in this department. And we’re saving the citizens money. And when it comes to the safety of the citizens, we provide a good service.”

Estell says they've offered alternatives to the proposed cuts.

Pontiac's emergency manager says their proposals don't come close to the $3 million in cuts needed. From the Detroit Free Press:

“It’s the only option -- we save $3 million,” Schimmel said, adding the changes would take effect in January. “There is no way in the world we can save $3 million by keeping our own fire department. They didn’t even come close to a million dollars, let alone $3 million. And we are running out of cash.”

Pontiac firefighters have until Dec 9 to approve of a plan that would "offer early retirement to 18 firefighters, bonuses to others and the opportunity to be hired by Waterford Township."

As a state-appointed emergency manager, Schimmel has the authority to dissolve existing union contracts.

Politics
4:18 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

A conversation with Pontiac Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel

Several Michigan cities are facing the possible appointment of an emergency manager.

Lou Schimmel has served as an emergency manager in Hamtramck and Ecorse and currently works as the EM in Pontiac.

He spoke with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White about his job as the city's emergency manager and his plan for the city.