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Posted on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10:18 a.m.

Michael Finney: From Ann Arbor to Lansing ... to Detroit?

By Paula Gardner

Michael Finney ran Ann Arbor SPARK since its inception, then moved to Lansing as Gov. Rick Snyder overhauled the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Now, according to a report, he's a lead contender to run Detroit if the city ends up getting an emergency manager.

Thumbnail image for Mike_Finney_April_2010.jpg
Finney is named in the Detroit Free Press report as one of five possible contenders if that job becomes a reality.

The reasons for the emergency manager consideration just keep building. In another Free Press story today, Mayor Dave Bing warns that the threat is real, given the city's growing deficit.

Other problems in the city keep mounting, too. Today, we're learning that bus service isn't happening due to drivers launching a protest.

Many regional and state leaders have said for some time that Detroit must function — for residents and businesses — for the rest of the state to find stability and then growth.

With the Finney possibility, it looks like the Ann Arbor area could gain another tie to the outcome in the Motor City.



Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

Detroit is dysfuntional with corruption in every area of city and county government. Under Bing's watch, much corruption has been unveiled so I would think Bing would be the perfect candidate not Finney. Detroit will eat Finney alive.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.

I agree that Finney is not a good candidate for the job. A better choice would be someone with private sector experience in downsizing a company.


Sun, Nov 6, 2011 : 6:02 a.m.

I suggest you first read Mike resume before making such uninformed comments...


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

There are some really great people in Detroit. Whatever it takes to look out for them.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

I'm with Racerx. There is a huge difference between fixing a city that is in absolute crisis, and has no money, to running a cushy institution that is given money by others to use as hand outs to businesses. I have yet to see Spark or the MEDC be held to the fire. What hard metrics are used to determine the real differences they have made? I would love to be Santa Claus and hand out money, shake lots of hands and have everyone kissing up to me, like it surely was at Spark and MEDC. Use those same skills to fix Detroit? Good luck. I sure hope there are some better qualified people if it comes down to an EM for Detroit.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Hearing about the bus situation in Detroit makes me SICK! How in the H... does that City think it is suppose to function for its people? Police services are awful; the fire department is in shambles, vacant housing and blight is rampant throughout the city, yet officials only look out for themselves. When people are getting fired for not being able to get to work on time because the buses are not running because mechanics and bus drivers didn't get their little raises, it is absolutely unconscionable that one's fellow BROTHERS AND SISTERS would do this to its people who really need jobs. Get the financial manager as soon as possible. Just make sure its someone with B...s!

Jeff Gaynor

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

Perhaps the first blame goes to the people with resources who abandoned Detroit - yet encouraged the carving up of neighborhoods so they had freeway access to jobs and entertainment from the suburbs; those people who then bashed the people without resources who remained. It is so easy to be holier than thou. I know that was then. WE aren't responsible now.

hut hut

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

A bus driver was attacked on the job. It sounds like Detroit administrators don't care about their employees safety. It has nothing to do with their "little raises". Stop making things up

hut hut

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Just one more more corporatist hand washing the other.

hut hut

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

Roger Fraser, past Ann Arbor city administrator was appointed by Governor Snyder to head the EM program in Michigan. Fraser worked in Ann Arbor. Finney headed Ann Arbor SPARK while Fraser was city administrator. It's well know that they were friendly with each other. SPARK got money from the City while Fraser was administrator. Fraser must have had some say in Finney's proposed EM position. What's the connection?

hut hut

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

I bet Finney takes a pay cut to EM in Detroit, but he is surely cementing his corporate connections for a highly paid future in the private sector.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

When will the people of Detroit learn that a "One Party" government doesn't work? Ann Arbor is finding it out, You need some diversity i.e. people who do things because they work not just because they make you feel good! Lets All Celebrate Diversity on Tuesday November 8th when we VOTE!


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Big mistake. This guy could hardly run SPARK. Detroit needs help, not some pol who doesn't produce results and just takes a paycheck.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

detroit must function if the state is to succeed??? tell that to a person living in the upper peninsula of michigan.