After the second financial review in recent memory, there are rumors of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder taking action to appoint an emergency financial manager to fix the City of Detroit.
If appointed, the manager will attempt to fix a city with a shrinking population, many vacant lots and abandoned buildings and enough debt to ruin any chance of recovery.
The officials who run Detroit have proven they are not up to the task of solving the financial problems plaguing the city, and neither Detroit nor the rest of Michigan can afford to wait any longer. Therefore, the best way to solve this problem is to appoint an emergency financial manager while we still can.
Following the first financial review last spring, the city claimed it did not need state intervention. After a very polarizing battle within the city, the state ended up negotiating an agreement to set up a board, which would help oversee spending in an attempt to rein in the city’s budget.
After the system was set up, the Detroit City Council and mayor just needed to work together with this new board to get rid of budget deficits and try to begin satisfying debt owed.
What do you think happened next? The city’s top attorney, backed by some members of City Council, decided she would attempt to get the agreement nullified by claiming it violated the city’s charter.
This obviously threw a wrench into the recovery effort, but City Council still refused to fire or demote the attorney until months later.
After this, everyone held hands and worked together to fix the city, right?
While there were some things accomplished, the city has still been plagued by the division that has gotten in the way of solutions for years. The city even rejected a deal where the city would lease, run and improve the Belle Isle Park. Such a move would have saved the city millions, but was rejected because the city officials seem to have the delusion that the state is attempting to strip the city of any remaining value.
This drama has been going on long enough. It is clear to anyone following the issue that the city is going backward. It will never be able to fix itself without a financial manager.
For a while, I thought we should just allow Detroit to fail since the officials seem to dislike any intervention and refuse to make a substantial amount of changes. As a suburbanite, I decided I didn’t want the state government to spend resources collected from other parts of the state to dedicate to Detroit.
But now I think the state needs to intervene, because not doing so will just hold back the entire region.
I am sick of turning on the local news and hearing about the mismanagement of the City of Detroit. I am tired of having to listen to battles between City Council, the mayor and the state.
I hope Snyder will continue his leadership in facilitating Michigan’s recovery by appointing an emergency financial manager to the City of Detroit.