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Emergency Financial Managers...good or bad?

Do any of the communities in your state have EFM's? Do you think they are a good thing or a bad thing?

http://michiganmessenger.com/48278/benton-harbor-emergency-manager-strips-power-from-all-elected-officials

The Emergency Financial Manager of the city of Benton Harbor has issued an order stripping all city boards and commissions of all their authority to take any action.

The order, signed Thursday, limits the actions available to such bodies to calling a meeting to order, approving the minutes of meetings and adjourning a meeting. The bodies are prohibited under the act from taking any other action without the express authority of the Emergency Financial Manager, Joseph Harris.

Actions such as Harris’ are explicitly allowed under a newly approved law which granted sweeping new powers to emergency financial managers. That legislation had drawn large protests, including attempts by some protesters to take over the state capitol building. The sit-in resulted in numerous arrests.

Harris’ move comes as Detroit Public Schools’ emergency financial manager Robert Bobb announced that he would use powers granted to him under the act to change union contracts.

Answer Question
 
UpSheRises

Asked by UpSheRises at 9:14 AM on Jun. 8, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 31 (48,798 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Yikes. I have to say, in the hands of some it might not be bad, but to give anyone this kind of power is sort of mindless.  How do you know that they know what they are doing and if they are doing it for the right reasons? 

    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:03 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Looks like Michigan has a history of EFM's.
    "The EFM law replaces an earlier act, Public Act 72 of 1990, which was signed into law by Democratic Governor James Blanchard. In the 21 years since the earlier act was put in place, there were seven declarations of a Financial Emergency for a local unit of government, and one for a public school system. In all, a total of 10 Emergency Financial Managers were appointed. "


    In researching, I found it funny that some are attempting to play partisan politics with this... "EFM law as a “Republican power grab,” ~said Rep. John Conyers ... Despite the fact that it has been promoted and aided for over 20-years by Democrats." Looks like it's pretty BI-partisan....

    To my knowledge Alaska does not have any such thing.
    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 10:50 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I think in the right situation it could be a good thing. How often are we lucky enough to get the right situation though?! IMO, that is probably too much power for one individual to have.
    yourspecialkid

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 10:50 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I would need to read the actual bill to say if I think it is good or bad.... It may be a good bill with poor implementation....
    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 10:51 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • IMO, that is probably too much power for one individual to have.


    From what I am reading, so far, of the last 20 + years of EFM's in Michigan, it does appear to be too much power for one individual....

    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 10:52 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • We have an Office of Emergency Management but I don't think we have a law like they do in Michigan. I can see the necessary points but wow, that sounds like a lot of power for anyone to have. I'd like to know more about this law.

    The City of Deer Park's Office of Emergency Management's (O.E.M.) mission is to save lives and protect property as well as prevent damage to the environment from disasters both natural and manmade. We work to accomplish this through development of continuing programs of education, communications, coordination, planning, training and exercising, for "all hazards" through all four phases of emergency management - preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.
    itsmesteph11

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 12:37 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I'd like to know more about this law.


    Answer by itsmesteph11 34 minutes ago


    http://www.michigan.gov/treasury/0,1607,7-121-1751_51556-198770--,00.html


    The biggest problem is that it allows the EFM to essentially remove the authority of elected officials. As a voter...i don't like that. The cities that have EFM's are pretty jacked up but i think the people of those cities still have the right to democracy.

    UpSheRises

    Comment by UpSheRises (original poster) at 1:17 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • How do you know that they know what they are doing and if they are doing it for the right reasons?


    Answer by QuinnMae 3 hours ago


    You don't.


    http://www.freep.com/article/20110608/NEWS02/106080382/Wayne-Co-jury-tells-Blackwell-repay-264-000-Highland-Park

    UpSheRises

    Comment by UpSheRises (original poster) at 1:18 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Sorry, I should have clarified that my question in that first answer was rhetorical.


    I will go with the sentence before that and restate that giving that much power to anyone is mindless.

    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 2:10 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Sounds like a good thing to me ~
    tasches

    Answer by tasches at 5:11 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

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