Detroit Debates Proposal 1, Michigan's Emergency Manager Referendum

A hotly contested item on Michigan's November 6, 2012, ballot is Proposal 1, a referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011. PA 4, passed by Gov. Rick Snyder last year, is the state's emergency manager law. PA 4 places pro tem managers in charge of financially struggling cities and public entities like school districts. This is an are of concern particularly for Detroit area residents. Six of the eight Michigan EMs are located in Detroit burbs and entities. If Proposal 1 passes, another 60 Michigan cities could get EMs. EMs don't come cheap. Entities that are assigned an EM have to pay salaries ($180,000-$435,000 a year), expenses, transportation, etc. If the city is already in financial trouble how is an overpaid exec going to help? EMs can and do cut jobs and vital services. Unemployed and underemployed residents can't pay taxes. They have to rely on social safety networks that drain financial resources. EMs are a lose-lose proposition. Detroit Debates Proposal 1, Michigan's Emergency Manager Referendum