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Posted on Mon, Feb 6, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

Michigan Treasury Department adviser: Emergency managers are 'kinder, gentler' alternative to bankruptcy

By Nathan Bomey

A Michigan Department of Treasury adviser who helped author the state's controversial emergency manager legislation Monday offered a defense of the law, arguing at an event in Ann Arbor that it’s imperative to prevent governmental entities from slipping into bankruptcy.

Howard Ryan, director of legislative affairs for the Treasury Department, said the state has a responsibility to help financially distressed cities and school districts return to financial sustainability.


Protesters rally against Michigan's emergency financial manager law in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day protest near the Superior Township home of Gov. Rick Snyder, who has championed the law as crucial to helping financially distressed cities and school districts return to financial sustainability.

Melanie Maxwell |

Bankruptcy, he said, is not an option. He said an emergency manager is a “kinder, gentler” way of helping governmental entities address their problems.

“That bankruptcy process is completely eviscerating in terms of the democratic process,” Ryan said. “You have a federal judge who may or may not care about anything about your community, and it’s just a drastic, drastic process.”

Ryan delivered his comments before a crowd of at least 100 University of Michigan students at an event organized by the U-M Undergraduate Political Science Association to discuss the emergency manager law.

Ryan, addressing a generally skeptical crowd, acknowledged that he was “the bad guy” in the room but said the law was nonetheless necessary.

“Despite a lot of the rhetoric, the intent of this law is to get at that cost driver that has many of our cities out of whack,” Ryan said. “The biggest problem that we face with our cities is the cost structure.”

In March 2011, Republican lawmakers passed legislation giving emergency managers additional power to stabilize financially distressed cities and school districts. The bill, championed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, included controversial powers such as the right to slash union contracts, replace elected officials and sell off assets in an effort to return governmental entities to financial sustainability.

Republicans have described the legislation — Public Act No. 4 — as a way for the state government to help struggling cities and school districts avert financial disasters. Democrats have slammed the law, saying it undermines the democratic process.

Dayne Walling, mayor of the city of Flint, which is currently being run by an emergency manager, cited a “number of legal issues with this law” but stopped short of offering a full condemnation.

“Our manager has actually worked in a pretty cooperative way,” said Walling, a Democrat. “We’ve actually worked pretty closely together in a lot of things, and I want to acknowledge that.”

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, decried the “supreme autocratic control” afforded to emergency managers, who are appointed by the governor after a series of financial benchmarks have been triggered.

Irwin said the state deserves much of the blame for driving cities and school districts into financial emergencies.

“There are situations in which I think everybody agrees the state needs to step in and help a city that’s insolvent,” Irwin said. But “we’ve been taking away revenue, we’ve been breaking promises of the past and we’ve been making it more difficult for these communities to get by.”

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners Chairman Conan Smith, who drew fire with an early defense of the emergency manager law in 2011, Monday questioned the policy of replacing elected officials with an emergency manager appointed by the governor.

“I’m not a giant proponent of sending an (emergency manager) in,” Smith said. “Maybe there are situations where it’s inevitable. But when we rely on each other, we actually make better, smarter decisions than when we put that power in the hands of a single individual.”

But Smith also said the state has a responsibility to ensure financial solvency among cities and school districts.

“The question is, does the state have an obligation, a duty to the residents to step in and take some kind of action for the residents? My answer is yes,” Smith said. “It’s not a law that is being used as a hammer on communities. It really is being implemented as a tool for communities to help themselves improve.”

Looming over the debate about Michigan’s emergency manager law is a petition drive organized by a nonprofit called Michigan Forward, which has said it’s close to delivering enough petitions to immediately suspend the law and place it on the ballot for voters to decide in November.

Leaders already are debating how the petition drive would affect the law, but Irwin acknowledged that Republicans already are quietly discussing the prospect of passing alternative legislation to replace Public Act No. 4 if it’s subjected to a vote in November.

Meanwhile, Snyder is considering whether to install an emergency manager in the city of Detroit. Snyder has described the law as necessary to help Michigan cities and schools get back on track.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 7:37 a.m.

The state has no responsibility to bail out poorly run cities with uncooperative and possibly corrupt local officials without implementing an Emergency Finance Manager with over riding governing powers. To allow these cities to enter bankruptcy would prove an additional hardship for the citizens fallen victim of local mismanagement. Local officials have a fiduciary responsibility, if not an ethical responsibility, to cooperate with the appointed EFM.

hard core ann arborite

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

As for Detroit ... that city was the engine of prosperity for the State of Michigan for more than a century. We sucked all the value out of Detroit that we could and gave little back. Now the legislature is pulling the rug out from under them in a long, slow"death of a million cuts" and we're letting the city sink at terrible human cost. The poor who live in Detroit generally live there because it's cheaper than anywhere else in the state, and have been effectively trapped there for a half century or more. Our state legislators know the poor will absorb the long term suffering in relative silence. Sadly, we've already let our cities, towns, and school districts down and the EFM is just there to generate more misery and preside at the "wake" (which is actually for all of us).


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

So, in the "last half century", how many Republican mayors have run Detroit?


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

Why anybody would want to help these buffoons is beyond me. Quite frankly, they make OUR city council look brilliant in comparison. THIS is who you are saying should be saved. These clowns: &quot;City Council did its usual Tuesday business, weaving an 80-point agenda in between fervent prayers God will deliver the city from the evils of emergency management and a rousing musical performance by a local singing group telling children to stay away from drugs and crime.&quot; &quot;Council President Charles Pugh proposed and had unanimously approved a $6,000 pay raise for his new chief of staff, 25-year-old Quantez Presley. Presley now will make $79,000 a year. &quot; &quot;Then, inside the agenda the council approved paying Ernst &amp; Young more than $1 million for doing the audit that told the mayor the city is broke&quot; &quot;The council agenda said Federal Medicare Part D payments came in at roughly $9 million, when the bill was only $7 million. The city used more than a million dollars of that $2 million surplus to pay for what should have been an unnecessary accounting audit. Federal funds usually are earmarked, meaning they're supposed to go specifically to what the payments came in to cover.&quot; <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

hard core ann arborite

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

The mistake being made is in seeing a city or school district as operating in a vacuum. Cities, school districts, and the state are all interdependent and what each does affects the others. To view any of these entities in a vacuum is unrealistic. The state cuts support to the schools and then the struggling school districts are the bad guys? Ridiculous. And for an emergency financial manager to fix with internal cuts a situation that arose from external changes may or may not be possible or appropriate. This is where the EFM concept fails. The EFM concept is a great political tool for neoconservative Republicans to pursue their anti-union agenda, however (among others), but that does little or nothing to solve problems or make the systems work any better. I truly believe our Republican legislators have been selling us out for their own political power. Look at the schemes they have used to attack and harm public education: charter schools, repeated budget cuts, vouchers to further cut public school funding, &quot;schools of choice&quot; to enable students to move and create de facto funding cuts, and attacks on the teacher's union just to name a few. The EFM law is a destructive political tool first and second a lousy approach to fixing our schools and cities.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

@hard core ann arborite &quot;This is where the EFM concept fails.&quot; Really? The concept fails? Mind telling Benton Harbor that this concept fails? Seems like since the EMF has been in place things have been turning around for them. Mind telling Flint that this concept fails? According to the Mayor of Flint it is working out quite well.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

You'll get an emergency financial manager either way. One is called and EFM, the other is called a bankruptcy judge. Personally, and especially after all the bitching and moaning, I would prefer Rick tells Flint, Detroit, Inkster, Highland Park, Ecorse, Benton Harbor to figure out their own mess – which means they go bankrupt. Then they do all the stuff the EFM is doing anyway. Quite frankly, I'm sick of giving any help to these corrupt, wasteful cities. So, yes, I agree, get rid of the EFMs. And the alternate plan was to do what? Oh, yes, continue to hope for handouts and kick the problem down the road.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

The EFM is just a proxy for a bankruptcy court. What do you think would happen in a bankruptcy? You do realize that ANY contract can be negated by a bankruptcy court judge, right? You realize the judge doesn't listen to your elected officials and does what he or she pleases, right? Oh and by the way, defaulting on all of your bond debts is just going to slam your city even harder when you need to borrow money again. So would you propose just letting everything play out at the status quo? This would lead you to Court. Would you propose that the city's themselves can re-structure, as Detroit is trying to do? Great, do it. All the EFM law does is bump up the deadline for getting that done. Unfortunately, the majority of comments are simply personal attacks and misinformation. Ever wonder why the unions are the ones fighting against this, hiding behind the democracy flag, when they are also behind Card Check and other anti-democracy proposals? I would LOVE to debate the issue with someone willing to offer a counter proposal.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

I have yet to see any other solution being proposed. Just whining. I say let them go bankrupt if they don't like the alternative.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

Seems to me Mayor Bing is doing quite a lot with union cooperation, city council cooperation, etc. Published reports indicate he has tentative deals reached on staffing cuts, benefit cuts, future pension changes, work rule changes, transportation, lighting, police, and fire, recreation, etc. that eliminate much of the forward looking deficit that was causing all of the the Governors concern, Supposedly. Amazing what locally elected leaders can do.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

@Sparty, When Bing was first in office in 2009 he tried to work with the union, city council, etc to get Detroit on track. Neither would cooperate. They had their contracts, their high pay, their benefits, their salaries, etc so why should they negotiate? They did all this KNOWING Detroit was in financial straits! But they didn't care. But now with the threat of bankruptcy and a EMF they sort of want to cooperate. They want to cooperate JUST ENOUGH to stave off a EMF and nothing more. However it might be too little too late.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

Hey Sparty, when did all these cuts and union cooperation start? It was only until they were motivated by the EFM hanging over their head. I would love for no municipality to have to have an EFM, and I would bet that the governor would as well.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

I'm all for letting Detroit slip into bankruptcy. They want it, deserve it, and will do anything (like protesting against, petitioning against, and even threatening to riot against) to fight the EM provision. So let them have it. See FormerMIch Res's posting above.

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

I am going to sign the petition that will suspend the emergency manager law. We need to let the bankruptcy laws work and if that affects the bond ratings of surrounding municipalities, counties and the State of Michigan and the interest rates rise, so be it. Realistic interest rates reduce government borrowing and spending that only serve to prop up unrealistic wage and pension benefits, inflating costs for those of us who are the tax base who are asked to pay for benefits of the &quot;government class&quot; even when we can't afford to buy them for ourselves. The present situation is like a drug addict (local governments addicted to an unsustainable level of spending) arguing why they don't need inpatient rehab. Fine. Let the problem continue until they are permanently institutionalized by the Federal Bankruptcy Court.

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

If a bank lends money to an unqualified borrower and the buyer defaults, shame on them. But shame on me if we go to the taxpayer to bail either of them out. If any so called public officials, give mathematically unsustainable pension benefits to other so called public servants and the government goes into bankruptcy as a result, shame on them. But shame on me, if we go back to the taxpayer to bail either of them out. Doing otherwise will only encourage more people to leave the private sector, where math applies to pension benefits and demand jobs in the public sector, where mathematical realities do not apply to the wages and benefits that they will consider to be entitlements. Chase Ingersoll


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

So you're willing to have pensions slashed by a backruptcy court?????


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

I see your point, but it is the equivalent of chopping off your nose to spite your face.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

are we going to start referring to Snyder as the &quot;Benevolent Dictator&quot;?


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

I have been casually observing this saga from a safe distance (several States away, anyway) for awhile, but feel the need to chime in at this point. First, hats off to Mr. Ryan for attempting to explain the rationale behind the EMF law to &quot;a generally skeptical crowd&quot; of incubating political scientists. It's tough to explain pragmatism to theorists. What do &quot;cost structures&quot; and out of control municipal spending have to do with democratic principles? A point that is not brought up, based on my review of the article and the associated comments so far: legal expenses associated with Chapter 9 backruptcies. For a good-sized city like Detroit, the legal billings generated by the law firms involved in a bankruptcy filing would accumulate in the millions of dollars in relatively short-order. Public Act No. 4 is a much cheaper alternative for Michigan tax payers. That's not to mention the higher interest expenses involved with S&amp;P downgrades of Michigan municipal debt. For a relatively poor State like Michigan, that's alot of extra expense to absorb. Hopefully, the signers of the Michigan Forward petition carefully considered the consequences and down-side risks? Given the number of signatures to-date, it seems the fate of Public Act No. 4 may be decided at the ballot box. At the end of the day, I'm confident (?) Michiganders will make the right decision in the voting booth... and get what's deserved.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

which part? By the way Former, the results of many recent elections have lead me to believe that the unions will out-spend everyone in advertising leading up to such an election and it would probably lose. There are not enough conservatives in this state that are willing to drop serious dollars on issues like this. That said, the bankruptcy of a few municipalities in the state might make voters rethink how pleasant that process is and could be a catalyst for change in the future.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.



Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

But do you disagree with what this poster is stating?


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

way to dismiss all student of political science as simply theorists who cannot understand cost structures.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

While not a supporter for Government control, and I go on record as not trusting &quot;Tax Breaks&quot;, however, in Detroit's case how do we correct the problem? The Kilpatrick Administration literally bled what life was left in Detroit out. For years Detroit has sucked up as much money as Lansing was able to send leaving precious little for the remainder of the State. Now after years of corruption and abuse the State must make some very harsh and unpopular decisions. So if the Emergency Manager concept is not the remedy, what measures need to be taken to rebuild? I am really trying to believe that Detroit can at some point come back to life.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

&quot;Irwin said the state deserves much of the blame for driving cities and school districts into financial emergencies.&quot; Is a comment really necessary after reading what Jeff said above ? Nah, not really but I cannot help myself. Perhaps the most ridiculous words that have ever come out of his mouth ! Good Day


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

It is an utter hypocrisy for Republicans in this state to continually thump their noses at the federal government on one the hand, then on the other crack the whip on cities and other municipalities with laws such as the EFM. They can't have it both ways.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

@IMRight We had 8 years of higher taxes. Where did that get us? It gave the government more money to spend. And spend they did!


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

&quot;I would rather have a bankruptcy judge (not a partisan hack) determine what is in the best interest of a city.&quot; No, JohnnyA2, you don't. The bankruptcy judge will void all the contracts, eliminate all the pensions, and make more draconian decisions than the EFM would...


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

Goober, You do realize cities MUST follow certain STATE laws. So basically, if the VOTERS in the city of Ann Arbor want to pay more property taxes, the STATE (by virtue of the short sighted Headlee Amendment) does not allow it. If a city wanted to impose a sales tax, they can not. Because the STATE says no. Yet, the local municipalities are REQUIRED to do certain things because it has been deemed a city job. The State is telling the cities what to do, while the cities are the ones required to pay for it. How about a city lay off ALL public safety employees and throw that burden on to the state of Michigan. The Michigan State Police have jurisdiction over the entire state. Unless the state is willing to pay for all services, stay the hell out of the local government. If the state held to the commitments made to cities there would not be a problem. The state has cut funding for all things, then told the cities you have no way to increase revenues. I would rather have a bankruptcy judge (not a partisan hack) determine what is in the best interest of a city. But, the right wing don't really want representative democracy anyway


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

Is there any problem that can't be solved with higher taxes?


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

@goober, it's kind of hard to &quot;solve your financial problems&quot; when you're fighting against ideologues who want to cut funding to every program, thus dooming them to be unsuccessful, so that you can point at it as a failure.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

Well! There is a simple solution to keeping any higher government out of your business - that is by solving your own financial problems. I wonder why so many cities and schools have not been able to do this (solve their own financial problems)? Politics have nothing to do with this. Peoples feelings, how they are treated, how they are rewarded, etc. does and solutions are not easy - most of the time painful. As painful as change might be, many have failed to address their own financial issues because they lack the visionary leadership and avoid making tough decisions.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

Conan Smith will do anything to weasel his way into a six figure government payroll job and his latest 'questioning' of Emergency Financial Managers, if you actually read his words, means nothing. He's against it but he's for it. So he's for elected officials being removed from office without a vote but then, he's against it. Lol. Thank you once again for not asking any followup questions with specifics about what he really believes. Maybe he needed to call the Governor first for a lifeline? Thanks for more Snyder PR A Two Dot Com. Lol.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:08 a.m.

I am very curious to hear from the people who don't support an EFM. Do you have an alternative solution or do you not yet recognize that the City of Detroit is bankrupt? Just like two state capitals, Harrisburg PA and Providence RI. Anyone who wants to take their chances with bankruptcy court should research what happened to Central Falls RI last year where the court ended up cutting existing pensions by 55%. The states of Illinois and California are no better off. In fact Illinois is in worse financial shape than Greece. Stomping your feet and talking about dictators doesn't change the facts of the situation. For those who oppose, what are your solutions? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

@fjord, You can stomp your feet and yell at the top of your lungs &quot;It is unconstitutional!&quot; That does not make it unconstitutional. Correct me if I am wrong, but the court has not decided on this yet have they? So who are you to say it is unconstitutional. It's like me saying &quot;ObamaCare is unconstitutional!&quot; I am yelling it. I am stomping my feet, but the Supreme Court has not ruled on it yet. Rolling back the self serving Republican tax cuts? For 8 years we had tax increases from Granholm which drove Michigan businesses out the state and left us with a huge deficit. We had one year of tax cuts and we now have a surplus. And you want to go back to more taxes? How about cutting spending? &quot; but make no mistake, starving government of revenue through ill-advised tax cuts is what led to this situation.&quot; That is totally false. We had tax increases under Granholm which then she spent more than was taken in! That's what did us in. Now it's time to reverse the damages.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

@dotdash, Let's get things straight. The bill gives EMF's the right to remove elected officials, but they don't have to do that. Like in Flint's case, the mayor (who is a democrat) WAS NOT removed. And if you read the article he even states "Our manager has actually worked in a pretty cooperative way. We've actually worked pretty closely together in a lot of things, and I want to acknowledge that." Even though the EMF has the power to remove the official, the EMF doesn't HAVE to do it. As the Mayor of Flint has pointed out, it is better to cooperate with an EMF than having a bankruptcy judge dictate what you have to do.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

If you fail to make your house or car payment you don't get an emergency financial manager, you lose the car and the house..............


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

No, &quot;[s]tomping your feet and talking about dictators doesn't change the facts of the situation,&quot; but lobbing a few talking points and posting a link to a staunch anti-union organization (the California Public Policy Center) doesn't change the fact that the EFM law is unconstitutional. UNCONSTITUTIONAL. As in, it will be overturned, and whether or not it's a good idea (it's not, for the record) has nothing to do that. There are no easy answers, but there has to be a better answer than an omipotent local dictator installed by a governor with a union-busting agenda. More revenues would be a start. Rolling back the long history of self-serving Republican tax cuts would reverse much of the financial destruction that has been wrought on our state and local municipalities. And yes, we need to root out corruption and inefficiency in government at all levels -- but make no mistake, starving government of revenue through ill-advised tax cuts is what led to this situation, and the EFM law is a blatant attempt by a Republican governor to take advantage of a bad situation (which was created by Republicans) in order to ram through a Republican, anti-union agenda.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

From a democratic point of view, the EFM is less than optimal (remove power from elected officials, give it to appointed officials). The tough thing is that the alternative, bankruptcy, causes so much actual suffering (pension loss, increased crime, disrupted lives). Tough choice.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

So Forever, head down to Detroit and get the population to pay their taxes. That would be a great start.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

you make costs equal revenue by PAYING TAXES


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

Costs must equal revenue. Most don't have a clue how to make this happen. All we have to do is watch how Detroit faces reality and reduces costs to equal revenue. Many have shown that they cannot get this done and end up placing their future in the hands of a bankruptcy judge or other, who can and will make the tough decisions. Will we learn from this horrible situation? Most don't and duplicate their errors as time passes.

Smart Logic

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 10:36 a.m.

I see all the Snyder &quot;fans&quot; are out in full force, yet not a single one, save for Goober, has actually discussed the issue at hand. What other solution do people see? Financial mismanagement plays an enormous role in the current situation and is something certain cities have shown they cannot rectify, time and time again. It's time to make a real change, folks.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

Didn't you read the comments? We're suppose to just keep talking about it, not DO anything, silly. ;)


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:17 a.m.

and the solution to a city or school district going bankrupt is???????????????????????


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

@sparty, Isn't that what they are supposed to be doing anywaY? Local leaders having discussions to solve the financial crisis? The problem is they aren't willing to make the necessary hard decisions because they want to get re-elected again. So they don't make the necessary decisions and instead put the city at more risk of defaulting and going into bankruptcy.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

&quot;Arrived at via open, frank bipartisan discussions of elected local leaders&quot; And why was that not thought about before hand? Elected officials too busy stuffing their pockets with taxpayer funds?


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 7:37 a.m.

Arrived at via open, frank bipartisan discussions of elected local leaders and NOT in secret partisan closed door meetings by Governor appointees.

Michael K.

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:31 a.m.

Exactly! The state is forcing these school districts, in particular, into bancruptcy. Snyder cut more funds then were needed to give to his business buddies. Thn he has his teams of &quot;hit men&quot; plotting in secret to take over local governments and school districts, claiming they are exempt from the open meeting laws. As mentioned above, the courts have said those planning meetings clearly violate the states open meeting laws. Dang, poor Rick - these citizens demanding to know what the government is up to are such a nuisance!


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

Why did Synder reduce the business tax?? If you can answer that then you can comment. I dont think you know.

Monica R-W

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:01 a.m.

Here we go again (Eye-roll).... Kinder, Gentler...Really? What about the Ingham County Judge that threw out Gov. Snyder CLAIM that secret &quot;Financial Review Team&quot; meetings did indeed violate Michigan Open Meetings Act of 1976? But that would take research and some.... Well, I will leave my comment right there....

Monica R-W

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:04 a.m.

In other words...Gov. Snyder said the meetings SHOULD be secret but, the Judge said...nope, not so much. Will Gov. Snyder follow the law or just his own mission to take over state governmental property, elected boards and fiscal books for the sake of his rich friends? This saga....will continue to play on....unless Michigan Forward and Brandon Jessup have their way.

Tom Smith

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:51 a.m.

The Emergency Manager law violates the constitution by negating the vote of the people. Period. That Emergency Managers are instituted due to financial crises that are caused in part, at least, by tax breaks given to business by the administration that put through the Emergency Manager law, is damn near obscene.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

&quot;The Emergency Manager law violates the constitution by negating the vote of the people. Period.&quot; Wow. Have you even read the Constitution? Either the State of Michigan or the U.S. one? You do realize you don't have the &quot;right&quot; to vote for your local government? So, before emphatic proclamations about &quot;negating the vote of the people&quot; (who, by the way voted for Governor Snyder and the State Legislature) please go ahead and cite the particular portion of the Constitution to which you are referring. The EFM law may be unconstitutional but not for the reason you think it is. Also, the &quot;tax breaks&quot; had little impact on the fiscal stability of Detroit, but that's a whole other argument.

L. C. Burgundy

Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:17 a.m.

Detroit and most other cities structural budget problems predate the Engler administration, let alone the Granholm or Snyder ones. Decades of promising employees the moon on top of a decaying urban cores that basically chase out business is simply not sustainable. The fact that people like to vote themselves free stuff doesn't actually make it sustainable. No one likes the situation, but a chain of municipal bankruptcies would be far more ruinous.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:42 a.m.

Thanks to the double whammy of 30 years of tax cuts and the crash of the real estate market, Michigan cities and school systems are out of money. With the Slicksters $1.8b more in business tax cuts this year and every year forward, our schools and cities are simply out of money. The emergency manager law now provides good jobs for all Ricks buddies running the broke cities and schools. He is a real job creator, for his 1% buddies.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

$132,000/year doesn't make an emergency manager part of the 1%.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

Do you think that we should raise taxes then? That hasn't worked out where it was implemented. Here is but one of many examples. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>