As authoritarian Governor Rick Snyder appointed emergency financial managers and corporate privatization are targeting more communities across the state, the people of Michigan are making the connection between events in Benton Harbor and the eastern side of the state and are fighting back.
Here is how the authoritarian process is being cemented into reality using the levers of political control under the rubric of democracy. Thanks to Eartha Jane Melzer of the Michiganmessenger.com!
By requesting state review of the finances in their cities, the mayor of Jackson and a citizen in Allen Park have initiated a process that could lead to takeover by an Emergency Manager or other changes.
Jackson Mayor Karen Dunigan told the Detroit News that she didn’t consult with Jackson City Council before requesting the review out of concern that they would not approve the move.
Dunigan said the city of Jackson has laid off eight police officers and eight firefighters and unions representing city employees recently rejected a proposal to save the city $1 million by increasing the share of health insurance premiums employees pay to 20 percent.
The mayor said Jackson’s pension plans have an accumulated debt of $36 million and the city has another $47 million in bonded debt.
In Allen Park, citizen Bryan Diebolt said he wrote the state in March requesting a financial review because he was frustrated by the actions of his elected officials, including a threatened layoff of the entire fire department that was later rescinded, a city movie studio deal that fell apart and a recent plan to raise city property taxes through an August vote.
“These people don’t know what they’re doing,” said Diebolt, a 32-year city resident who retired as a project manager for an electrical company. “It’s mind-boggling.”
Allen Park has a low debt rating, which is grounds for review under the new Emergency Manager law.
Financial review is the first step in a process that can lead to appointment of an Emergency Manager with power to cancel contracts and fire local officials. Some of the powers of an Emergency Manager could also be granted to a town’s mayor as part of a consent agreement between the local government and the state.
Treasury spokesman Terry Stanton confirmed that Jackson and Allen Park are the only cities for which requests for financial review have been received. And fnow let the games begin as the takeover begins to seed itself.
See just some of the news regarding the fascist takeover in Michigan
In a strongly worded opinion piece in the Sunday, May 15, 2011 edition of the Traverse City Record-Eagle, entitled, “Preserving Great Lakes will be up to the People”, the editors blasted government, the corporations and the courts over their “attempts to dismantle historical protections” of the Great Lakes: www.traversecityrecordeagle.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx
The Traverse City Record-Eagle also conducted an on-line survey showing overwhelming public support for protecting the Great Lakes: www.record-eagle.com/poll/x616690025/Do-you-consider-Great-Lakes-water-quality-an-important-issue
In a story covered by WGVU (www.wgvu.org/wgvunews/index.cfm?id=sdetail&sty=10618reported) and the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy ( www.griid.org/2011/05/12/heartwell-says-no-to-privatizing-gr%E2%80%99s-water-for-now/ ) they reported that Mayor, George K. Heartwell, had been in negotiations with two multi-national water corporations, Suez and Veolia, to privatize the Grand Rapids water system. Last week after intense public opposition, the Mayor withdrew his support for the proposal in a statement he posted to the West Michigan Environmental Action Council’s website: www.thewmeacblog.org/2011/05/10/guest-columnist-the-honorable-mayor-george-k-heartwell/
This Thursday, May 19, 2011at 6:00 PM the Grand Rapids Industrial Workers Union of the World (IWW) will show the Academy Award winning film for best documentary in 2010: Inside Job. The movie is free and open to the public, will be shown at the IATSE Labor Hall 931 Bridge St. Grand Rapids, Michigan: www.grsbuxunion.blogspot.com/
In Saugatuck, the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance posted a new documentary video entitled, “Las Dunas”, that outlines the intensified threat Saugatuck Township and the Saugatuck Dunes now face if they are forced into receivership - the trigger for a Governor appointed emergency financial manager: www.saugatuckdunescoastalalliance.com/news.php?newsid=388
The organization recalling Governor Rick Snyder, Reclaim Michigan, will be hosting a petition signing event at the State Capital in Lansing this Saturday afternoon, May 21, 2011 from 12 PM to 6 PM: www.firericksnyder.org/rallies-dates-times-locations
MichiganForward is holding meetings and press conferences (tomorrow) Monday, May 16th across Michigan in Detroit, Benton Harbor and Traverse City. (Their organization is targeting the EFM law with petitions).
For more information———>www.MichiganForward.org
- FireRickSynder is holding a rally at the State Capital in Lansing this Saturday, May 21st from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. to kick off the recall of Governor Rick Snyder with a petition drive. For more information——-> www.firericksnyder.org
The Michigan Education Association (MEA) will hold a meeting and rally the State Capital in Lansing on Saturday, May 21st. For more information——-> www.mea.org/save-date-saturday-may-21-mea-action-day-lansing
The We Are The People Coalition will rally with the MEA on the same day at the State Capital in Lansing on May 21st. For more information———-> www.wearethepeoplemichigan.com
Heartland Revolution will be holding a rally and events in Benton Harbor on Saturday, June 18th. For more information———->www.HeartlandRevolution.com