According to the Detroit Free Press, the word on the street is that Michigan’s Governor Snyder might appoint an emergency manager for Detroit—tomorrow. City officials are not excited; in fact, the “Detroit City Council launched an effort today to hire special outside counsel that could help mount a legal challenge to fight the potential appointment of an emergency financial manager for the city.”
According to one councilwoman quoted in the article, emergency managers “provide havens of hosanna for certain folks and their friends and family who get the contracts and the cities all lose their assets.”
I’ve previously ruminated on the legality of Michigan’s emergency-manager statute, which allows the state government to replace elected city officials. Remember, when it comes to municipality versus State,the State is generally supreme.
An emergency manager is still in control in my hometown of Flint, and the former elected officials haven’t been completely pushed aside; for example, the ousted mayor, Dayne Walling (a Rhodes Scholar), recently proposed a plan, in a “State of the City” speech earlier this month, to get Flint out from under control of the emergency manager. But Walling apparently doesn’t retain too much power, as his plan merely involves asking Governor Snyder “to appoint a transition advisory board to begin the process of shifting Flint away from an emergency manager’s control,” according to one local reporter.