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Posted on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 7:42 a.m.

Proposal 1 defeated: Michigan voters repeal emergency manager law

By Cindy Heflin

Related coverage: Michigan ballot proposals 2-6 defeated

Michigan voters repealed the state’s controversial emergency manager law in a referendum Tuesday.


Rick Snyder campaigned for Proposal 1.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Proposal 1 had 2,182,504 "no" votes and 1,983,228 "yes" votes, a 52-48 percent margin, MLive reported.

Voters rejected all six proposals on Tuesday’s ballot. The proposal 1 result was a defeat for Gov. Rick Snyder who signed the emergency manager legislation into law and had campaigned to keep it.

The repeal of the law also calls into question the status of emergency managers already in place in several cities and school districts, including Detroit schools, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Read the MLive article.


Unusual Suspect

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

It doesn't matter what the borders of Ypsilanti are because everything east of Carpenter Rd is Detroit.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

If you think we had problems before, just wait until we see the moral hazard created by this decision by the electorate. By removing the threat of contract abrogation, public sector unions now lack any incentive to engage in any sort of negotiation. Simple game theory dictates that they will just hold out for a bailout. Any rational group would do the same. In the end, the taxpayers will pick up the bill long before some teacher, police officer, firefighter or simple civic bureaucrat will be asked to give up full pay, full benefits, and COL adjustments after a scant 20 years on the job.

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

JB1: Your comment has the tone of someone who does not post using their real name. I will further add for the benefit of readers that I am on my way to the Sidetrack in an hour (after the noon rush is the time to meet clients there) and that Golfside, is where the City of Ypsilanti begins, not Carpenter.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

You guys are killing me right now. Given all the "fun" that seems to go on there on a normal Saturday night, you may want to look at the Ypsi crime map to see where the boundaries are: Sorry, Chase, but per the map, it doesn't look like Golfside. And really not much of Hewitt either, except North of Washtenaw.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

mmmm sidetrack burger. Dont forget the deep fried pickles. I highly recommend them.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

So when Romney says to let the Auto industry go bankrupt, the city & state loses its mind. Yet when a proposal is set forth in an attempt to correct years of corruption and incompetence, it is voted down, essentially sealing the fate of Detroit and other Michigan cities. Yeah, that makes sense.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

General Motors did go bankrupt.

Basic Bob

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

Emergency management is only temporary, like the bailout. At some point people need to figure it out for themselves.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

I am so happy proposal 2 did not pass. Unions tried to shove this down are throat and overwhelmingly lost. If that was my money the union spent on this terrible idea I would be really mad. Millions and millions of dollars they spent of YOUR union dues.

Tom Todd

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.



Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Good, it was unconstitutional and un-American. While it is clear that some cities do desperately need an EM (Detroit, Flint), this was just too much. It is our right to elect our local officials and no appointed EM should be able to dismiss them.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Westfringe, I respect your opinion, however the next step for these communities is bankruptcy court where the judge has exactly these powers. In essence this was an opportunity for cities in trouble to avoid the legal fees and stigma associated with bankruptcy.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

So cities going bankrupt is the answer? Nobody gets paid.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

Thank you Washtenaw County and Michiganders for defeating this highly Unconstitutional former statue. Maybe now Gov. Snyder will realize that the business of GOVERNMENT is not a top down corporation, and will do the work necessary to assist cities, villages, counties, townships and school boards OUT of a financial crisis.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

John, if the city decides that bankruptcy is the only way out of their financial crisis, then THEY and not Gov. Snyder nor DINO Treasurer Andy Dillon should make this choice. The REPEALED Emergency Manager Law did not allow for city councils, school, township, county and village boards to make this choice, and they're the people we elect locality to make these decisions. Not Gov. Snyder or the Republican controlled Legislature in Lansing.

John S. Armbruster

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

Hopefully they file for bankruptcy. They have already caused the problem there is no reason to give them more money to waste. The EM law was designed to assist them. The last thing you want to do is let the same clowns who made the mess try to fix it. They have already proved to be incompetent.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

The EFM for the Detroit Public Schools has already said he will quit if this failed to pass because he won't be able to get anything done, and I don't blame him. Detroit can sleep in it's own bed now. However, for those of you who say bankruptcy should be next, you are right, but think about it: what kind of bankruptcy? What's to stop Obama from stepping in imposing his own customized form of bankruptcy that benefits his union friends, screws everybody else, and leaves the send the bill to the American taxpayer? He's done it before in this town, he can do it again.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

You're right. Once the EFM leaves, and the schools are run by competent people again, everything will be fine and the children will get quality educations


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

The EFM of DPS is an example of why this law is a bad law. He has told teachers that more than 3 absences in a school year is an attendance problem and missing school more than 5 days is excessive and you could lose your job(check his imposed contract). Teachers and administrators in Detroit Public Schools are attending school when doctors are telling them they must stay home. One teacher has already been informed her attendance is poor and close to being placed on probation. The days she took off were to attend her mother's funeral. This type of behavior is wrong and should not be allowed under any circumstances.

Robert Granville

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

I've been waiting some time to vote down this law. I was not confused by the wording. I did not get caught up in voting no on everything. That is all.

Robert Granville

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 3:38 p.m.

Que sera, sera. The answer is not ripping control from the voters.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

Now Detroit goes bankrupt instead of having someone come in and work things out. Good luck Detroit.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

What a shame... guess we can just let Detroit go under now!

John S. Armbruster

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

We sure can. No point in throwing more good money to Detroit for them to waste.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

I agree. Not one cent for any of these governmental organizations that run out of money. Let them file for bankruptcy!!!

Superior Twp voter

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

Bankruptcy for Detroit. The sooner the better.

Ron Granger

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

First they tried to deny the right to vote based on farcical concerns about the font size. Now the people have spoken. Watch them ignore us.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

I agree with Greg: there were just too many ballot measures and voters decided just to vote no on everything. The fact that Prop1 did so much better than the other measures indicates a lot of support out there.

Bob W

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

R. Granville, this Democrat voted to not only retain EM, but voted against all the constitutional amendments. Note to self, need too reregister as an independent.

Robert Granville

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Hmmmm.... I voted yes on several of the proposals. Door to door democrat workers were encouraging party voters to vote yes on several of them as well. I think it's safe to say at least the democrats did not vote no on everything.... but we've been waiting a long time to vote no on the EM law. Did you forget the previous drive to get it repealed that failed?


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Sadly, this one got caught up in the voter rejection of the rest of the stuff trying to bypass the legislative process. Oh well, just let Detroit and the others go bankrupt. The unions can bleed a dry turnip.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Good! stop the dictatorshiping of local governments, the right want to return control to local governments until those governments don 't do as the right wants them to do.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

IM are under the delusion that an EFM will fix the real problems which is the mismanagement of and the under funding for schools and communities coming from Lansing.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Katmando, As has been pointed out by others, the EFM is really the exact same as what a bankruptcy court judge can do, without the legal fees or stigma in financial markets of filing for bankruptcy. Are you under the impression that not having an EFM somehow fixes the problems of these municipalities and districts poor financial management?


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Nope. You wouldn't understand it anyway.

John S. Armbruster

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

You want to try that again in English?


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

I think the reason is that voters do not want the state to correct bad government. Sort of a "let them fix it themselves" attitude. This was a very good law, Mayor Bing is highly in favor of it (See Freep and Det News stories). My other suspicion is that it is not the law but who passed it. Anti-Snyder folks do not want to see any successes. Bankruptcy is the answer and generally the same things will happen with the addition of huge legal fees. See Vallejo is/was a city of only 120,00 people and their legal bill is over $9 million. No state government wants to pump money into a city that dug itself into a hole by bad decisions.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

PA-4 provided powers to the EFM that were either unnecessary for dealing with the financial difficulties or could be abused to the detriment of the local community. Return to PA-72 of 1990 is reasonable as well as considering bankruptcy. The latter could lead to restructuring of overly generous pension and health care programs, refashioning them in a responsible manner. Certainly selling off Benton Harbors pristine public beach to become a luxury golf course and essentially giving away the Pontiac Silverdome were not actions by the respective Emergency Financial Managers that benefited either community.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

The problem is the old law is ineffective and is a waste of time. I totally disagree with Veracity, the powers in PA-4 were essential. Not guaranteed to work but far better than the prior law or bankruptcy. I would encourage anyone in these cities needed an EFM to move. Or expect your taxes to skyrocket to pay your unfunded liabilities. If your city goes bankrupt do you think your pensions will be paid? Not necessarily:


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Thanks for mentioning that there is still a law, just not the new one.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Benton Harbor sold off that public land for a golf course well before an emergency manager showed up. Pontiac sold the Silverdome more then 2 years ago, before Governor Snyder even enacted PA-4. EM's had nothing to do with those sales and both happened a long time ago. The communities are to blame for those actions, not EM's. And if you really think federal bankruptcy court is going to be more sympathetic then you're crazy.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Selling off two assets may not have been the best decisions in hind-sight, but those are certainly not the only decision the EM's made. And I can point to a lot of even dumber decisions made by local governments without an EM.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

I think this failed for a few reasons. First, the City of Detroit voters don't want it. They've always had a distorted view of the world, many still think that Kilpatrick and other former mayors were not corrupt. Second, the Governor didn't expend enough effort to get this passed. If it was that important, there should have been a big effort to pass it. There was virtually none.

Basic Bob

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

If elected leaders in Detroit valued democracy, they would take steps to make sure it functions effectively. It is they who are the foes of democracy.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

And third, it is the single most anti-democracy piece of legislation ever enacted in the history of this country.

Rod Johnson

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

I wish people knew their geography. Crossing Golfside puts you in Ypsilanti Township. If you cross over Hewitt, that puts you in Ypsi.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Actually, the addresses between Carpenter and Golfside are Ypsilanti, but the money does go to AA and AA schools.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

Fine fine. Crossing Courtland St will put you in Ypsilanti, not Hewitt. Either way - lumping Pittsfield with Ypsi doesn't make sense since the addresses are Ann Arbor and taxes go to AA. Ypsi Township addresses are Ypsilanti and taxes go to Ypsi.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

Let them raise their own funds. Then they can do what they want with them. Oh wait they tried doing what they want with our money that did not work out so well!

John S. Armbruster

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

I hope the governor makes it clear that those entities that are looking at bankruptcy better get ready to file for it. Not one nickel should be given to these School Boards of governments. They cannot be trusted to be responsible.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

Let's not forget that aside from the corrupt idiots that run Detroit the state still owes the city 200 million dollars. just saying!


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

katmando, The vast majority of funding cuts came under Granholm and are mostly tied to the devaulation of real estate. The Right Wing is not the cause of all the worlds ills.

John S. Armbruster

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

Katmando, Take a look at the number of criminal convictions of the Detroit City government, their associates. The same goes for the school board. Giving them money is like giving crack to an addict. You might just as well burn the money in a bonfire as letting Detroit policians get control.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

The governer and rightwing cut funding then whine about how those local governing bodies cant pay their bills.

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

So what happens in Detroit, Ypsi, etc ?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

they get equal representation like the rest of us do.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Thank you, JB1, for saying in a much kinder and calmer way what I would have said. Chase Ingersoll is such a notorious and consistent Ypsi basher. Let's see if we can figure out why: Detroit...Ypsi. Detroit...Ypsi. Not that hard to figure out.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

"The state temporarily suspended PA 4 pending the outcome of last night's election, prompting Attorney General Bill Schuette to opine that Public Act 72 of 1990 was back on the books, allowing emergency managers to continue working with the limited powers afforded by the previous law. Schuette also opined that PA 72 would be permanently reinstated if PA 4 was repealed, but a recent lawsuit filed on behalf of several municipal leaders challenges that assertion, and plaintiffs hope to move forward in the wake of the election."


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

The short answer is Bankruptcy.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

I wish people knew their geography. Crossing Carpenter Road puts you in Pittsfield Township (still Ann Arbor address/taxes/etc.) If you cross over Golfside, that puts you in Ypsi.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Mr. Ingersoll--if you ever crossed Carpenter Road, you'd understand that Ypsi is really not in the same boat as Detroit. Responsible leadership is in place, and the financial situation is actually looking better. If you are really interested in local politics and leadership, perhaps you should take a moment to read some of the latest Ypsi City Council meeting minutes, or the latest budget reports. Government excess and spending is far more rampant in Ann Arbor. I suggest you go there with your axe to grind. They have a train station to sell you!


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

The folks in Lansing have to address the problem that they helped create. You simply cannot starve local government and walk away. We as a State must address the structural funding issue of local government. Current revenue sharing to local government is a small fraction of previous decades. Most if not all LUGs have reduced staff, staff salaries, and consolidated services for the last half of the decade. In addition, LUGs increased the contributions by employees to various benefits. Simply ringing the sponge out more will not solve city/county budget issues. Lansing has to deal with the problem. Look at what revenue sharing was in previous decade's verses now. I think you will see it is not just the low hanging fruit, that is, the cost of employee benefits that contributed to some of these budget issues.

Laura Jones

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

De-certification as a city for Detroit is my guess. It can be broken up into smaller more manageable areas with smaller government groups. It's all the legislature has left unless they want to write a new EM law.