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Posted on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Former Ann Arbor administrator Roger Fraser talks about new role overseeing emergency manager program

By Ryan J. Stanton

Roger Fraser served nine years as Ann Arbor's city administrator before stepping into a new role as deputy state treasurer in Gov. Rick Snyder's administration.

He now oversees the state's emergency manager program, which Snyder has championed as a way to prevent cities from slipping into financial disasters, including bankruptcy.

Signed into law in March, Public Act 4 gave state-appointed emergency managers controversial powers such as the right to slash union contracts, replace local elected officials and sell off assets in an effort to return local governments to financial sustainability.


Former Ann Arbor city administrator Roger Fraser now oversees Michigan's emergency manager program.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Drawing from his experience in local government, Fraser said unfortunately "extreme changes" — even if controversial — are needed to help struggling cities and school districts get turned around.

"Now I understand, and if I were in the position of organized labor, I'd be whining about this, too," Fraser admitted. "It's clearly a threat to the kind of control and the kind of ability that labor unions have had. On the other hand, there are units of government that just simply cannot be successful living with the terms that they agreed to in better times."

Fraser spoke with about the work he's doing, including his predictions for what might happen in Detroit, a city whose finances are now under review by the state. It's been almost a year since you announced your resignation to take a new job as deputy state treasurer for local government services under Gov. Rick Snyder's administration. Describe your new role in Lansing and the work you're doing.

Fraser: I'm responsible for the local government services bureau, which has a number of activities on behalf of local government. We do a lot of work with assessing of properties. We provide support for the state tax commission. We deal with review and consideration of applications for personal property exemptions. And each local government unit has to, on an annual basis, file their audit reports with the state. The people in the local government bureau review those reports and enter the data into what are known as F-65s. We review that data to try to determine any local unit of government that may be in financial difficulty. That's one of the indicators that we have where we may begin to start looking at action under P.A. 4, the emergency manager act. I'm responsible for administration of that program, and to the extent that we have emergency managers assigned to cities, those people are under my supervision. So you're essentially the head of the state's emergency manager program then? Is that correct?

Fraser: While the governor appoints an emergency manager, the state treasurer is for the purposes of P.A. 4 the state financial authority, and most of the administration of that program is delegated by the state treasurer to me. What's your role in what's happening in Detroit right now? Are you're overseeing the Detroit review team?

Fraser: In that particular case, the treasurer has retained his responsibilities with respect to that program and he is chairing that team. I'm part of the work that we do in treasury in support of that program, and as we're dealing generally with strategies with respect to Detroit, I'm certainly still involved with that. But in terms of the actual process of the review team, Fred Headen, who is the director of the local government bureau, is providing the support. We all know Detroit faces deep-rooted financial problems. From your perspective, how bad is it? Is an emergency manager the only solution?

Fraser: Their circumstances are very, very deep and very difficult. They have been borrowing money for a number of years to try to remain solvent. They have a very deep debt load. That's true for the general fund. It's true for other funds. The general fund winds up supporting their transportation department. It doesn't generate enough revenue on its own to be self-sufficient and that's a major drain on the general fund. The number of issues in terms of the functioning of the city and the money that's coming into the city and how it's being used are just enormous. I can't tell you that an emergency manager is the only way that can be fixed. I wouldn't say that, and I have my own personal opinion that it's not likely that this review team will make a recommendation for an EM. What leads you to that belief?

Fraser: First of all, there's a great unwillingness on the part of this current state administration to put an EM in without trying first to see if there's not some sort of way that we can work out an agreement and a process that would enable the locals to be able to fix things themselves, and under P.A. 4 that notion is a consent agreement. And I think there's a significant desire to work out a consent agreement in which there would be a number of expectations that the state and city would agree to that the city would need to accomplish in order to get their act squared around. And the consent agreement typically has multiple requirements. Would bankruptcy be a worse fate?

Fraser: If you look around the country at cities that have gone through bankruptcy, it's been a horrendous process that has devastated the cities in many ways. We've talked to a couple of the communities that have gone through that and their assessment is, if they had it to do over again, they would avoid it somehow. What do you see as the likely outcome for Detroit? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Fraser: I don't know how to answer that. I think it's fixable but is going to take a hell of a lot of work and I don't have all those answers. There obviously has been a lot of controversy surrounding the emergency manager law. Some see it as undermining the democratic process. You hear concerns about union busting. How do you respond to those criticisms? And what misconceptions are there about Michigan's emergency manager law that you wish you could clear up?

Fraser: One of the reasons I was hired, and probably the principal reason I was hired, was because of my experience in local government. The governor has had as part of his campaign the notion of healthy cities as a key element to the future of the state — that we have to have healthy cities and foremost among them is Detroit. On the other hand, leaving things the way they've been has not resulted in improvement in some of these critical communities. And the observation has been that the cities that are in the deepest trouble don't have the capacity internally to do it themselves. And without making significant changes in the decision-making process, you couldn't expect the major fixes to be accomplished that need to be accomplished.


A plaque recognizing Detroit's rich history of collective bargaining stands near Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit.

Ryan J. Stanton |

We have a history in Michigan of some great prosperity and at least reasonable economic times. And particularly in Southeast Michigan, a history of collective bargaining that's been shaped by what's happened in the auto industry. The auto industry was able to basically walk away from the terms of employment practices that they had previously when they went through bankruptcy, and it was a fairly quick and facilitated process. They could go out of business, but local units of government can't. They're there to serve their communities and they're locked in both in law and in practice. So the ability to make the kinds of changes that are necessary that were done in the private sector are very difficult to do in the public sector without some sort of extreme changes.

Now I understand, and if I were in the position of organized labor, I'd be whining about this, too. It's clearly a threat to the kind of control and the kind of ability that labor unions have had. On the other hand, there are units of government that just simply cannot be successful living with the terms that they agreed to in better times. And they haven't had a good success rate at getting the unions to negotiate the kinds of things that are needed. So I think from both a policymaking standpoint, and from the position of personnel costs, which typically are 80 to 90 percent of every local unit's costs, there's got to be some means of effecting change, and to do it in relatively short order because these communities are just out of money. Explain for the benefit of those who don't know the steps that must happen before an emergency manager is appointed. What's the process there?

Fraser: In the act itself, there's a list of nearly 20 different ways that the notion of fiscal difficulty can come to the attention of the state that would provoke the state sending an auditor into that local unit of government. And that auditor can come back say, 'OK, we think there's a problem here but we think they're on the right track to fix it.' Or they could say, 'We think there's financial distress and they need some form of assistance,' and there could be something then there. Or they could say, 'These are dramatic financial concerns and we believe that a review team ought to be assigned,' and that recommendation could go to the governor. Then it's up the governor to decide whether a review team will be assigned. If he makes that determination, then a review team is appointed and goes in and they, too, have the ability to make a variety of recommendations. Essentially it ranges from 'no we don't believe this is a financial emergency,' or they could recommend and actually negotiate a consent agreement, or they could recommend the appointment of an emergency manager. In any of those cases, the ultimate decision is in the hands of the governor. Remind me which communities and school districts are under emergency management currently and, in your view, what successes we've seen from that.

Fraser: Ecorse, Benton Harbor, Flint, Pontiac, the city of Detroit school district and the Highland Park schools all have emergency managers now. The Highland Park schools and the city of Flint are the only two that have been appointed since the adoption of P.A. 4.

River Rouge is under a consent agreement. Ecorse, its neighbor, has an emergency manager and I think Ecorse is a great example of some of the positive things that can be done through this act. Joyce Parker is in Ecorse. She's been there since 2009 and she's done a nice job of turning that community around. Joe Harris is in Benton Harbor. Benton Harbor has had a very difficult history in terms of public management, and he has made substantial gains in the year and a half or so that he's been there in balancing their budget and getting some improvements to the facilities that exist in that community. But he's not accomplished that without some contention. And if you take a look at Pontiac right now, the forecast is that the 2013 fiscal year could be balanced and that's in the face of just some enormous pitfalls financially.

But it's also the case that we've had some EMs that haven't done well. And up until P.A. 4 was adopted and until I was hired, there wasn't somebody who was actually monitoring this program who also knew how local governments function. And I'd like to say that we're making a difference because we're spending a lot of time working with each of these EMs. Are there any municipalities or school districts in Washtenaw County being watched by your office right now that could come under emergency management?

Fraser: Not that I'm aware of. A judge ruled this month that Detroit's emergency manager review team must open its meetings to the public under the Open Meetings Act. State Treasurer Andy Dillon argued the team should be allowed to meet in private and it sounds like the state is appealing the judge's decision. Why fight to hold these meetings behind closed doors?

Fraser: One of the things that the review team does is try to evaluate what the opportunities are for the local unit of government to fix itself. And to that end, they spend a lot of time interviewing staff and elected officials regarding how the organization works. And just as an example, if we're going to talk with professional staff in the finance department or a manager in the finance department who has been appointed by the mayor, we believe that what we may get in the way of information out of a closed door session is different than what we are likely to get in an open session where that same person is asked to respond to these questions where the mayor or a mayor's rep might be in the room. That's the kind of thing that has been a part of the process even under Act 72. These folks who are doing the review process are not making policy decisions. They're in a position to make a recommendation to the governor who has to decide for himself whether there's going to be some action taken based on the research that was done by that review team. So from that standpoint, I think there's justification for having at least a portion of that conversation in closed doors.

To the extent that there is a deliberation that goes on and the team tries to decide what recommendation it's going to make, I don't see that as something that can't be done in open session. But there's a significant part of the process that I think is going to be compromised if this review team is not able to talk confidentially with the people they need to interview.

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.



Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

I'm glad he told me that they can't honor contracts that were made before. I will call my bank and tell them I won't honor my contracts with them either because they were made before as well. Where do these guys come from?


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 12:17 a.m.

I will except him because I'm programed to just take what ever the government wants to do with us 99%. I also believe anything they say because I am a law abiding citizen, and they know what they're doing at all times. They also know whats best for me, and stuff like that. "Yeah Right"

Stuart Brown

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

Bankruptcy is not the only option to restructure a city's finances! Ford paid $0.40 on the dollar to pay-off bond debt when GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy without ever filling for bankruptcy. Today Ford management talks about not only surviving but thriving as well and they are thriving with no intention of ever paying back the stiffed bond holders. I believe the true function of the Emergency Manager law is to force the entire weight of any restructuring pain to fall completely on the backs of workers and residents of cities going through a financial restructuring without bond holders shouldering any of the pain. It is also an opportunity to sell off and privatize valuable public assets-like water systems-to well connected insiders for a pittance. Rodger did a dodger after he ran up the city of Ann Arbor's credit card to the tune of $250 Million to support a bond arbitrage scheme that failed, leaving the rest of us to clean up the mess. Good going Rodger! You're well qualified to spread your Santorum at the State level after the wonderful job you did eviscerating the city of Ann Arbor's services.


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Wait, isn't this the guy that doubled the cities debt per capita ratio?


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

&quot;During Fraser's time as City Administrator, Ann Arbor took on nearly a half billion dollars of new debt. The city employees' pension system went from being over-funded by over 10% to being under-funded by nearly that amount.&quot; From Chris Savage's Blogging for Michigan, <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

I've been following this debate about the use of emergency financial managers and I would like to know why no one is asking what seems to me a very important question: What is the mechanism(s) by which a city gets to take back control of its finances? Is there any or does the emergency financial get to retain control indefinitely, even if the city's finances are improved and the danger of bankruptcy has passed? There has been much discussion about what triggers the appointment of an emergency financial manager. What I want to know is, once one has been appointed, who or what determines how long they retain control? Can please investigate and report back on this?


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 5:47 a.m.

Birddive, the governor has his own army, the national guard. He is commander and chief and can do much by executive order, if he wishes. He's doing these cities a favor with the EFM plan, he could force them into bankruptcy court which would result in a much worse scenario with much higher costs of future borrowing.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

Nathan: That sounds quite vague. The governor has complete discretion to decide when the emergency has been resolved? In other words, the emergency financial manager appointed by the governor could retain control indefinitely? This is very troubling.

Nathan Bomey

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:44 p.m.

@Birddive, Good question. I recently covered a panel discussion where one of the law's authors acknowledged that the &quot;trigger&quot; for ending the emergency management is when the Treasury Department (by extension, the governor) determines the emergency has been resolved.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

So Mr. Fraser wants permenant cuts in bad times, apparently he thinks good times will never happen again and is doing everything he can to make sure they do not return.

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

&quot;I think there's justification for having at least a portion of that conversation in closed doors.&quot; Fraser loved closed doors and his attorney, Stephen Postema, reputed to be the City Attorney, worked hard to keep Fraser safe behind those closed doors.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Fraser didn't seem to have any problem collecting his $41,000 year retirement after only working here 9 years. BTW... there aren't any union 'whiners' that would ever some close to that. His arrogance never ends.


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Bloat = 56 Billion dollars in unfunded public pensions....where's the money coming from Born? You're the expert. Tell me. That's public union deficits which constitute 7% of the work force. But you're the expert. You have a tendency to try to dismiss opposing opinion with unsubstantiated union rhetoric. Tell us all where the money is going to come from.


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

So that's only half of a firefighter&quot;s pension?


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Really? Because all of us workers are only seeing bloat from one side. Maybe you can provide examples otherwise. I'll gladly go example-to-example with you on this one. You know what you've been told by the city. Not the facts. Can't really blame you for that. But for continuing the rant w/o checking your facts, I can.


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

Government bloat at all levels.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

Unions are a threat to democracy and economic viability of free enterprise. Just look at the results of their unbalanced influence on the ability for corporations to compete in a world economy without taxpayer bailouts. Whose going to pay for their pension fund shortages?


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 2:44 a.m.

15% of the working population is democracy? Broken record? Too big to fail justifies the bail? I know this is a union town but how can you keep denying 56 billion dollars in unfunded public employee pension deficits. Just give me an answer to where the money is coming from? Union obligations are destroying the middle class with the financial burdens they have created.

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

US corporations are hobbled by their unwillingness to support universal health care paid by everyone and for everyone. Why? Because corporations are in cahoots with each other and refuse to break ranks by supporting health care for all, unlike the rest of the developed world. Then the playing field for US businesses would be a bit more level. But no, that would be &quot;socialism&quot; even if it did help their bottom line.

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

Union members a threat to democracy? Don't make me laugh. I'd lay that bone at the feet of the Billionaire Corporatist Koch Brothers and the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

I'd be willing to look if you had something to show me.

Fire Rick

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

I hope someone is re-writing Roger Fraser's job description, because he won't have an EM program to administer at the end of the month! Join us in Lansing as we deliver petitions to repeal Public Act 4 on February 29 at 11:30 a.m. The Rally begins at Central United Methodist Church at 215 North Capitol in Lansing. The March and delivery of the petitions with approximately 200,000 signatures will begin at 1:00 p.m. Come be a part of the first step in restoring democracy to the once great State of Michigan! Details at this link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;set=pu.50478031866&amp;type=1</a>&theater Also, for those who believe you cannot solve a state's financial problems without a dictator, here's a viable alternative to Michigan's Emergency Manager law: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY! REPEAL MICHIGAN'S LOCAL DICTATOR LAW!

Fire Rick

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

@javajolt1 &quot;Oh...and with Michigan running a budget surplus for the first time in almost a decade, there is no way Rick Snyder is going to be recalled. It's a dream. No way.&quot; Having a budget surplus isn't anything to be proud of when you had to gut Michigan's public school system and tax the most vulnerable of Michigan's citizens to achieve it. Here's The Ugly Truth Behind Michigan's Budget Surplus: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

average joe

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

The alternative to PA-4 from your second link indicates that, among other ideas, the state would absorb the entity's deficit(take over debt), while at the same time hand over more money also? Yeah, that will make it all better.........

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

I bet that Snyder's budget surplus is based on the same kind of &quot;bucket&quot; style accounting that Fraser practiced here in Ann Arbor. Based on that, I'd be leery of anyone saying that Michigan has a budget surplus. And if there truly is a surplus, who paid for it? Pensioners, Seniors, middle class, poor and working people by raising their taxes, that's who.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

I'm not sure I completely agree with your premise. Couldn't you just as easily label Kwame Kilpatrick and his cronies as the 'dictator' for stealing from his own citizens? If you were actually looking at the issue completely objectively, an Emergency Manager that hasn't even been named yet has far less to do with disenfranchising the voters as their former mayor. Oh...and with Michigan running a budget surplus for the first time in almost a decade, there is no way Rick Snyder is going to be recalled. It's a dream. No way.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Wow. How ironic that Fraser scored a sweet pension plan from the City of Ann Arbor via.....uhh...collective bargaining. I don't think there is a single thing preventing him from opting out and giving the money back to Ann Arbor.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

A number of commenters are whining about Fraser leaving the city of Ann Arbor in tough financial straits. Many people forget that without approval of the city council this money doesn't get spent. Roger Fraser was not a monarch ruling the city without any constraints. Just like when George W ran up a bunch of debt before he left office, it was all approved by a democratic congress. Don't people ever think about this or do they just say what they want to believe really happened? I wonder some times........


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

&quot;It's clearly a threat to the kind of control and the kind of ability that labor unions have had. On the other hand, there are units of government that just simply cannot be successful living with the terms that they agreed to in better times.&quot; Why isn't the same ever asked of the wealthy? Why aren't the richest corporations and richest individuals in the country ever asked to sacrifice a little more in these bad times? Why is it always the middle class and the poor that have to suffer? Oh yeah, because the people making the rules of the state and country have to appease the wealthiest corporations and individuals if they want to be reelected.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

@Enso: the average worker pay to average CEO pay ratio peaked in the year 2000. Ratio and year: 525/2000, 364/2006, 263/2009, 343/2010. The top 1% share of national income peaked in 2007 and has been in decline since. Estimated 2011 tax year will put them at or around year 2000 levels. Was Occupy ten years late? Source: AFL-CIO paywatch and Emmanuel Sanz, UC Berkeley Dept. of Economics


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

It's not difficult for me to understand, I just think you are wrong. &quot;At this ppoint there are not enough rich to turn this around.&quot; And this is where you are wrong. The rich have more money right now than at any other time in the history of this country. They also happen to pay less taxes than at any other time in the history of this country. Back when there was a thriving middle class the rich paid upwards of 90 percent of their money in taxes. And they STILL were able to pay for all their toys and start new businesses. &quot;It's the middle class and poor who consume all of the tax dollars&quot; To say the rich don't use taxes is the height of absurdity. How do corporations distribute their products? They use roads, air freight, trains, ships. All paid for with tax dollars. How do they keep their products safe? They use the police and fire services, all paid for by taxes. Where do they get their educated workforce? Through the public schools, universities and trade schools, all paid for with taxes. Your argument would make sense if we forced companies to start building and maintaining their own roads, buy their own planes and airports and air traffic controllers, purchase their own ships and shipping ports, etc.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

It's the middle class and poor who consume all of the tax dollars. Why can't they force their elected officials to spend less. For example have you seen some of the post offices that have been built? How about some of the schools that look like fortune 500 office buildings? Bike paths everywhere while roads are crumbling. Purchasing farm land for a green belt around the city. I could go on but the point is that you are asking the rich to pay a &quot;little more&quot; but won't take or force a hard look at how the money is being spent (foolishly if you ask me). At this ppoint there are not enough rich to turn this around. It always starts with attacking the rich and then will have to trickle down to everyone because there just isn't enough money. Why is this so difficult to understand?


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

It sounds more like everyone, regardless if there community is in the red, or Not has to sacrifice/more attacks on the labor force and profits for the controlling class.

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

Fraser built a highly paid top heavy corporate style management at City Hall while cutting the jobs of the front line &quot;whiners&quot;, err workers, who do the real work. Now all city workers, all the ones who worked while Fraser was here, now know what he stands for. They all can hear how he talked about them to his management buddies behind closed doors. Good riddance, I say.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

Thank you for this article. It is the first informative piece regarding Emergency Managers under Public Act 4 that I've seen. I'm still wondering what the qualifications are for the EM's. How and on what basis are they selected? I'm also disappointed in Mr Fraser's referencing unions as &quot;whiners&quot; which is a really unecessary put down of a movement which has created the overall good and safe working conditions for the majority of workers today, both white and blue collared. As economic conditions change, the need for changes in the work force follows. However, the negative impact of the loss of partnership between owners/managers and workers, and the demagoging of unions is not being helpful to anyone.

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

Around the time that Fraser was hired, Hieftje and City Council had pie in the sky dreams about Ann arbor becoming this big metropolis. They dreamt of turning Ann Arbor into a Chicago ready for &quot;the future&quot;. It didn't happen.They ate up Fraser's snake oil promises. They wanted a tough city manager to come and make it happen for them. Get rid of the unions with his slash and burn management style. Fraser did this while enacting the top heavy corporate style management favored by Republican. Fraser built a top heavy bloated overpaid management team at city hall while he worked tirelessly to cut front line jobs and privatize the daily operations. Then the economy tanked and Fraser walked away to a job more suited to his talents leaving taxpayers and council holding the debt bag. All the Mayor's and Council party dreams of a new &quot;chicago&quot; with thousands of downtown residents in new skyscrapers came tumbling down like dominoes. Fraser's big promise was to build the new city hall, the edifice to politicans and the bureaucracy. He did that but left the city with fewer and far less experienced and able employees to do the real work of city operations. Ann Arbor will be paying for quite a while for Hieftje's mistake in hiring Fraser, the hatchet man(ager).

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

Fraser came to Ann Arbor, turned the city government upside down spent millions on &quot;reorganization&quot;, put everyone into debt with a new huge public building (with overpriced art), an underground parking structure, and was the prime mover behind the back room deal to put a publicly subsidized but privately owned conference center on top of the structure. Then he walked away and went to work for a Republican governor leaving the mess behind for someone else to clean up Now we have to wonder why, Mayor John Hieftje and the pack of alleged Democrats on the Ann Arbor City Council hired Fraser? For all the comments on our so called &quot;liberal&quot; mayor and council, the guy that they hired to run the city now manages a state program that guts workers rights and busts unions. What does that tell us about Hietje and the Council Party? Were they dupes or were they truly acting on their beliefs? Fraser's attitude and words are those of a true Republican hatchet man.

Alan Goldsmith

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

&quot;His classification of union workers as whiners tells us everything we need to know about his approach to his new job.&quot; And his old job, as the front man for Democrats on Ann Arbor City Council who were as true to Democratic Party ideals as he sliced fire and police protection and bashed unions with glee. Hope the Mayor is proud of his history and legacy--which would make a right wing Tea Party idiot smile with glee.

Alan Goldsmith

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

See you in November Mr. Fraser when the people get to vote on this and thanks for confirming what type of public figure you were went you were in Ann Arbor-anti-union, anti-democracy and why our Mayor loved you so much. Hope you are enjoying the money you made living off the fat of the land from us Ann Arbor taxpayers. What a hypocrite!


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

His classification of union workers as whiners tells us everything we need to know about his approach to his new job.

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall behind Fraser's closed office doors.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

If communities want to avoid falling under the EM they can elect officials determined enough to balance their revenue and expenses, right?

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Fraser has nothing but contempt for public employees and was completely clueless about Ann Arbor. He never even bothered to live in the city or pay city taxes all while taking a city pay check and referring to himself as a city resident. And this is the guy Hiefjte hired to run the city? John Hieftje's hometown? The &quot;neighborhood&quot; Mayor who wanted to turn Ann Arbor into Chicago? Fraser's a perfect fit with Snyder. And we should really look at John HIeftje's ability to make wise choices.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

I certainly agree. however; all too often elected officials have uncommon goals and are unable to work together for the betterment of the community. This is especially true today and especially true in Michigan where you have Mayors and Supervisors trying to balance the budget and Council members and Trustees trying to save the jobs and benefit packages of their largely union based constituents. Some communites have the roles/goals reversed. Never the less, both have good arguements but their goals are 180 degrees apart.

hut hut

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

And what does your comment have to do with the situation of Fraser leaving the city further in debt and the mess for someone else to clean up?