Friday, March 01, 2013
Detroit will get its Commissar
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was very put out when voters repealed his Commissar Law that allowed him to overturn municipal elections and install his handpicked man to run cities and make sure his friends got what they wanted from public assets. So upset that he had his stooges pass the law again with a Catch-22 that would prevent the unruly populace from repealing it again. And now he has turned his sights on the richest plum in the state.
Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced on Friday that the city of Detroit is so snarled in financial woes that the state must appoint an emergency manager to lead it out of disaster.And if the police co-operate, the new Commissar can probably throw anybody he wants in jail, too.
“There is probably no city that is more financially challenged in the entire United States. If you look at the quality of services for citizens it’s ranked among the worst. So we went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 or 60 years,” Mr. Snyder told Detroiters in a town-hall-style meeting that was broadcast live on local television stations across the city.
“It’s time to say we should stop going downhill,” he said. “There have been many good people that have had many plans, many attempts to turn this around, they haven’t worked. The way I view it, today is a day to call all hands on deck.”
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.
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