Thursday afternoon Michigan Emergency Manager new round-up – 2/2/2012

This is becoming an every day thing…

  • John Conyers & Rev. Charles Williams confront Gov. Rick Snyder in Washington, D.C.
    While Governor Rick Snyder was in Washington, D.C. yesterday, giving testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Education & the Workforce Committee, he was confronted by Congressman John Conyers and Rev. Charles Williams II about Public Act 4.

    U.S. Rep. John Conyers, an outspoken critic of Michigan’s emergency manager law, shared his concerns with Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday in Lansing.

    Conyers, joined by Reverend Charles E. Williams II of the Detroit National Action Network, discussed the constitutional validity and “inherently undemocratic nature” of Public Act 4, according to his office.


    Photo courtesy of Rev. Charles Williams II

    Snyder was speaking to the Committee on job creation. When asked if he thought Right to Work laws were good for creating jobs, he declined to answer saying, “I don’t automatically have an answer.”

  • Lansing judge rules that financial emergency review teams covered by Open Meetings Act
    Earlier this week, Highland Park school district treasurer Robert Davis asked a Lansing judge to halt a takeover by an Emergency Manager of the school district. Today, did just that.

    In a meeting in court chambers Thursday morning, the Chief Judge of Ingham Circuit Court requested that the state not hold secret meetings regarding emergency managers and financial review teams. That’s what Robert Davis tells 7 Action News.

    This could have wider ramifications than just Highland Park, I suspect. Stay tuned.

    UPDATE: Turns out that WXYZ had their reporting quite wrong and there was no such ruling. I have posted an update HERE.

  • Muskegon Heights teachers to face payless payday
    Teachers in Muskegon Heights schools, another district facing the imposition of an Emergency Manager, will not be paid on February 17th, their next payday.

    Teachers in the Muskegon Heights school district were told they will not receive their regularly scheduled paycheck on Feb. 17.

    The interim superintendent Dave Sipka told 24 Hour News 8 the teachers will be paid on Feb. 21.

    The reason for the delay is because the district relies on state aid it receives monthly, and that aid doesn’t arrive until Feb. 21. The paychecks will be turned around that same day.

    I am told they will have the same problem in March as well.

  • Detroit Mayor Bing reaches tentative deal with unions
    Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and his administration appear to have reached a tentative deal with city unions last night that may help to avert the imposition of an Emergency Manager.

    Detroit Mayor Dave Bing reached a potentially landmark deal late Wednesday night with half of the city’s unions in a last-ditch effort to ward off insolvency and an emergency manager.

    This tentative agreement is the first meaningful step in achieving the necessary concessions and structural changes to resolve the city’s financial crisis, the mayor said this afternoon.

    “The tentative agreement we’ve reached is not just about concessions. It’s about how labor and management can work together in a fair and constructive way,” Bing said in a statement. “The agreement provides checks and balances that hold both unions and my administration accountable.”

    The tentative agreement represents a breakthrough in tense and urgent negotiations after defiant labor unions, which took 10% wage reductions nearly three years ago, resisted cuts to pension and health care benefits.

    This case interests me because the hue and cry from conservatives across the state is that Detroit’s leadership is too dysfuntional and cannot handle governing itself. However, based on things said by Governor Snyder and State Treasurer Andy Dillon, it appears that all they are after is union concessions.

    Add another tick mark in the “Evidence that P.A. 4 is all about union-busting” column…

  • Forum on Public Act 4 to be held next week in Ann Arbor
    Next week, a community forum will be held in Ann Arbor on the subject of Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager law.

    On Monday, February 6, from 6 to 8pm in the Eldersveld Room in the Department of Political Science (Haven Hall 5th Floor), the Undergraduate Political Science Association will host: “A Debate on the Emergency Financial Manager Law: Democracy, Expertise, and the Public Good in Financially Troubled Cities”. We often hear in public discourse that government ought to be run more like a business, with streamlined decision-making by expert managers being preferred over the more cumbersome ways of making decisions that are associated with democratic institutions. The EMF [sic] Law can be viewed as cutting to the heart of this tension between expertise and democracy.

    To debate this question, we have invited:
    Representative Jeff Irwin
    Representative Mark Oiumet
    Howard Ryan, Director of Legislative Affairs, MI Department of Treasury
    Conan Smith, Washtenaw County Commissioner
    Dayne Walling, Mayor of Flint

    The choice of Conan Smith is an interesting one. I like Conan just fine but I don’t see what he brings to the table other than being known as an Ann Arbor Democrat that is actually in favor of the Emergency Manager law.

    Should be interesting. I suppose I will be there.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

I am a chemist by day and progressive liberal blogger by very early morning and very late night. I live just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan with my lovely and talented photographer wife, Anne C. Savage. I am a vegetarian and an avid organic gardener who loves to cook. I'm heavily involved in county-level Democratic Party activities and am on the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Board as co-vice chair for precinct organizing.
Chris Savage (aka Eclectablog)
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