In Dire Financial Straits, Detroit to Receive Emergency Manager

Despite a wealth of upbeat news of late (surging downtown, encouraging long range plan, etc.), Detroit received a very unpleasant reminder of its intractable problems when Gov. Rick Snyder announced he will appoint an emergency financial manager.

"Citing runaway deficits and long-term debts Detroit could never repay on its own, Gov. Rick Snyder today pulled the trigger and announced he will appoint an emergency financial manager for the state’s largest city," reports Matt Helms. "Snyder said he has a top candidate in mind, and that person would be in charge for 18 months."

According to Monica Davey with The New York Times, "The state-appointed manager, who could be selected later this month, would ultimately wield powers aimed at swiftly turning around the municipal government’s dire circumstances — powers to cut city spending, change contracts with labor unions, merge or eliminate city departments, urge the sale of city assets and even, if all else failed, to recommend bankruptcy proceedings."

"After a state report that Detroit is carrying more than $14 billion in long-term liabilities and experiencing nearly annual projections of cash shortfalls, the decision was years — perhaps decades — in the making. Still, it set off a range of pointed, emotional reactions here about whether this was the first step toward true repair in a city that was once the nation’s fourth largest or one last very public sign of a city crumbling."

“I look at today as a sad day, a day I wish had never happened in the history of Detroit, but also a day of optimism and promise,” Snyder said.

"Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he 'did not favor' an emergency manager," adds Helms.

“The Governor has made his decision, and it was his decision alone to make," Bing said in a statement. "While I respect it, I have said all along that I do not favor an Emergency Manager for the City of Detroit. I will look at the impact of the Governor’s decision as well as other options, to determine my next course of action."

Full Story: Snyder to name Detroit emergency financial manager, has candidate in mind

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