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Pontiac emergency manager says city should be ok after he leaves

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Downtown Pontiac. The city has major financial problems. The emergency manager of Pontiac wants to void a contract with the city's police dispatcher's union.

The Detroit News asked Pontiac Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel if the city could go bankrupt after he leaves.

Schimmel said that won't happen if they follow his plan:

Pontiac is into its third emergency manager, Louis Schimmel, who is scheduled to leave his job this month but first will present a two-year plan to avoid bankruptcy to citizens at a meeting at 9 a.m. at City Hall. “There is absolutely no reason for bankruptcy in Pontiac if they take advantage of all that I have done and follow the blueprint I am leaving,” Schimmel said.

That was not Hamtramck's experience.

The city attempted to go through bankruptcy in 2010 after it was overseen by Emergency Financial Manger Lou Schimmel. The city is facing another financial crisis today. For more on that, listen to this Stateside interview.

But today's emergency manager law is different. After an EM leaves, the city can be oversee by a "receivership transition advisory board."

This board can do a lot - read about it here - most importantly, the board can continue to oversee a city's budget. From Public Act 436:

A proposed budget or budget amendment shall not take effect unless approved by the receivership transition advisory board.

*This post has been updated.

Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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