This afternoon the Detroit City council voted (7 – 1) to appeal the Emergency Manager’s review team findings of a financial emergency for the city. Gov. Snyder has set a hearing for this coming Tuesday. Council President Charles Pugh told the AP they “are going to try every avenue” before submitting to emergency management.
The new Emergency Manager law provides “options”, a pick your poison menu of four choices:
A Consent Agreement: also known as Emergency Manager Lite, wherein the elected leaders must consent to do what they are told by the state.
Chapter 9 Bankruptcy: Old school method that works, but scares surrounding communities because they don’t want the contagion of a poor bond rating (appointment of an EM tends to have the same effect though).
Arbitration: Another tried-and-true method that typically involves the ardurous process of difficult contract re-negotiations, but at least invites labor to the table.
Emergency Manager: Dictatorship.
None of the options are particularly attractive, especially in light of the fact that the state of Michigan has failed to provide revenue sharing promised in a deal it struck with the city some years ago.
Amy Kerr Hardin