Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law Exposed
If you are concerned at all about Republican overreach, you must go read this post by Eclectablog (Chris Savage) and then click over to the full article in The Nation magazine. If you haven’t bookmarked his blog yet, you should do that right now. Chris is one of the hardest working humans alive, who is fighting for liberals and progressives in Michigan and the country. He is top notch, top shelf and top dog in my book. Here is a snippet from his wonderful piece, but GO….read the whole thing.
What are the qualifications for such a powerful office and the six-figure salary that accompanies it? Not much: PA 4 requires “a minimum of 5 years’ experience and demonstrable expertise in business, financial, or local or state budgetary matters.” Last year the state held a pair of two-day training sessions for EMs, both run primarily by companies that provide outsourcing services to municipalities and school districts. Yet PA 4 made the emergency manager the single most powerful person in the city.
Results were swift. In April the Benton Harbor EM, Joe Harris, decreed: “Absent prior express written authorization and approval by the Emergency Manager”—himself—“no City Board, Commission or Authority shall take any action for or on behalf of the City whatsoever other than: i) Call a meeting to order, ii) Approve of meeting minutes, iii) Adjourn a meeting.” The move in effect abolished Benton Harbor’s elected City Commission and replaced it with an unelected bureaucrat, perhaps the first time this has happened in US history.
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