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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 05:36 AM
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Michigan's plan to take control of local governments, sell assets, break contracts, etc
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Constitutionality of emergency manager powers questioned
Critics say new law gives dictatorial powers to appointees

By Eartha Jane Melzer | 02.24.11 | 9:28 am

- snip -
Under current law the state can appoint Emergency Financial Managers to temporarily take over the finances of local governments that have become insolvent this has happened in Hamtramck, Highland Park, Flint, the village of Three Oaks, Ecorse, Pontiac, Benton Harbor, and the Detroit Public School district.

The new law, which was requested by the governor, redefines these officials as Emergency Managers and gives them the power to end existing contracts, take over pension plans, reorganize departments, enter into agreements to restructure debt and dissolve or consolidate fiscally troubled towns and schools.

- snip -

This plan is a slap in the face to the democracy our nation was founded on, state Rep. Shanelle Jackson (D-Detroit) said in a statement. It removes elected officials from power and ignores the rights of our voters to choose their local leaders, and instead opens the door for one person to be in control of running our city.

Jackson said that the plan violates the state Constitution by breaking local charters and disenfranchising voters. She also argues that it sets inadequate professional qualifications for emergency managers.

- more at link -
Bill offers few guidelines for use of emergency managers powers
By Eartha Jane Melzer | 03.03.11 | 10:26 am

- snip -
The Treasury Dept. is in the process of training potential Emergency Managers, so the Messenger asked for some details of the training in hopes of better understanding the motivations and priorities of the folks who may soon take over our schools and towns.

It turns out the training itself was mostly outsourced to the law and accounting firms Plante & Moran, Plunkett & Cooney, Miller Canfield, Foley & Lardner already involved in emergency financial management of Michigan towns.

The training was not conducted by Treasury, spokesman Terry Stanton explained. It was administered by Dr. Eric Scorsone at Michigan State University, in conjunction with the MI chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, with support from the department.

Though Treasury was slow to provide details of the event, Kevin Lucey of the Bloomfield Hills accounting firm OKeefe and Associates, a member of the Michigan Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, provided an agenda for the day and half long event which was held at MSUs Henry Center for Executive Development on Feb. 9 and 10.

- more at link

Video of Rachel Maddow discussing this last night 3/8/11

I am just sick over this. No oversight or check & balances in this bill.
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