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Posted on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Ford School panel discussion features friends and foes of Michigan's emergency manager law

By Ryan J. Stanton

Roger Fraser and Brandon Jessup will share the stage Monday during a panel discussion at the University of Michigan.

And that's an interesting pairing considering Fraser oversees Michigan's emergency manger program and Jessup is head of the group working to repeal the emergency manager law.

The event hosted by the Ford School of Public Policy takes place from 4-5:30 p.m. at Annenberg Auditorium, 1120 Weill Hall, 735 S. State St.

Panelists will examine the impact of the state's emergency manager law on citizens, public employees, local governments and communities in Michigan.

Fraser, Ann Arbor's former city administrator, now oversees the emergency manager program as deputy state treasurer for local government services in Michigan.


Roger Fraser


Brandon Jessup

Jessup is chairman and CEO of Michigan Forward, the public policy organization working to repeal the controversial law. Jessup also is conducting research on Michigan's political and economic landscape, creating policy initiatives for Michigan's urban centers.

Other panelists include Joseph Harris, the emergency manager in Benton Harbor, and Dayne Walling, the mayor of Flint and and founder of the Flint Club.

Harris, a certified public accountant and internal auditor, was the auditor general for Detroit from 1995 to 2005. He also was Detroit's chief financial officer from 2008 to 2009 under interim mayor Kenneth Cockrel.

Walling's experience includes owning and managing the 21st Century Performance and working with the Genesee County Land Bank's affiliated Genesee Institute.

The panelists are expected to discuss all sides of the emergency manager law that has sparked controversy and attracted national media attention.

"The law's most controversial aspects include the transfer of power from local elected officials to unelected emergency managers, who have the ability to make sweeping changes to local government," the event announcement reads. "Proponents of the law argue that it encourages local actors to make difficult decisions. Opponents insist the law is undemocratic and unconstitutional. They have launched efforts to overturn the act."

The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Brian Jacob, a professor of education policy at the Ford School, will moderate.

Seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are available at the Michigan Union Ticket Office during regular business hours. One ticket per person.

The event is being co-sponsored by the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy, also known as CLOSUP, and the Ford School. The event will be streamed live and a link to the web stream will be posted at prior to the start of the discussion.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Basic Bob

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Why doesn't Mr. Jessup run for mayor of Detroit? With all his positive energy and bold ideas, it should be a no-brainer. Detroit could be fixed directly, all democratic and constitutional. Just like Mayor Kilpatrick.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

Honestly, that picture gives me the creeps. I have to say, too, that it reminds of a high school senior picture proof.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

Mr. Fraser's ?

Arno B

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

What's new? Doesn't everyone remember Mr. Jessup who led the protests when Granholm appointed Emergemcy Managers??


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

Well, as has been repeated over and over again, Granholm's Emergency Manager Law was a prior law and not PA 4 which has added powers which are what are so objectionable to those who value the State and Federal Constitution. Not to worry though, a citizen referendum will be on November's ballot and the Governor's latest (second, I know) recall attempt begins in May. We'll also have petitions being signed to undo many of the republican passed laws, particularly anti-worker laws, so they can be on the November ballot as well. And, as you know, the entire House is up for election then as well. So, lots can change very soon.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

When city's such as Detroit continue to show that they are incapable of dealing with their finances it is time to send in an Emergency Manager, the sooner the better.

The Picker

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Call Me ! Because ...I am..........The ladies Man !!!!!!!!!!


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

I actually read the content of the article for the news. It provides much more information than the pictures do in all of the stories I've read. Must be a novel approach, but then I'm not only looking for things to complain about. How is my picture? I hope it doesn't distract anyone!


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

You need to walk the dog lol.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

Can't secure another picture of Brandon that would be more fitting on discussions of business and government ? It is hard enough already to take this guy seriously based on what he says, but a picture is worth a thousand words ! Good Day

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

I thought it was Morris Day. What time is it?


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

Seriously? With your picture, you're criticizing his? LOL.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

Agree, can no longer even read was he has to say........but maybe that's the strategy. needs to go to a meeting, take a photo and start using that, like all the other open-mouth unflattering pictures they use, lol.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

I sure that this was the picture Mr. Jessup gave them. Fraser? not so much.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

Everytime I see Mr. Jessup's pic here on, it reminds me of those Glamout Shots photos from the 80's. Mr. Fraser's pic looks like it was taken with a cell phone, while he was talking. These are professionals, couldn't find better photos of both?