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School Board steps up with reaffirmed powers

The DPS board held a special planning meeting Feb. 21 at Spain Middle School after receiving court rulings that legitimized and clarified their roles—if only for a few weeks. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge John Gillis dismissed Attorney General Bill Schuette’s suit that claimed the board members elected by district were holding their seats unlawfully. Schuette argued that due to a decline in student enrol ...

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United against EM

If Gov. Rick Snyder had any sense, he would find a way to back off from the decision to appoint an emergency financial manager for the city of Detroit. This is a manufactured financial emergency, created to justify seizing control of the city’s assets, breaking the power of democratic constituents and blunting the newly revised Detroit City Charter. It is based on bogus figures. ...

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Emergency manager in the wings

Gov. Snyder has declared a state of financial emergency in the city of Detroit. He says no satisfactory plan exists to resolve it. At a town hall address, March 1, at the Detroit Public Television studio, the governor said very little action was taken on the Consent Agreement city officials entered into with the state last April to solve the city’s deficit. “Today is the day to call all hands on deck,” Snyd ...

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EFM? No thanks, Detroiters say

As Gov. Rick Snyder weighs whether to appoint an emergency financial manager (EFM) to the city of Detroit, City Council and several mayoral candidates are saying don’t bother. At its formal session Feb. 26, Council again discussed the city’s options, concluding an EFM isn’t necessary. Council President Charles Pugh said an extended consent agreement is one possibility; Council is expected to send its final ...

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Olumba leaves Dems, goes independent

“There’s Democrat, there’s Republican and there’s us,” says State Rep. John Olumba, I-Detroit. A week after breaking from the Democratic party and declaring himself an Independent, Rep. Olumba, serving his second term in office, rejects the criticisms that he’s now been marginalized. “I’ve benefitted from my move more than anything,” Olumba told the Michigan Citizen. “My (one) vote counts for what I cast it ...

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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

“Detroit Raw” will be a collection of mind snacks written by an ex-con that once wallowed in the cesspool of Detroit corruption who refuses to sit down and be quiet because he believes that he can help make Detroit a better place. Subscribing to the Al Taubman principle of redemption, I shall offer whatever whenever (Al gives cash; I have no cash so I give advice and counsel — we both did time in the fed pe ...

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New leadership for Democrats

Change and challenge defined the day for Democrats at the Feb. 23 state party convention held at Cobo Hall. Lon Johnson replaced 18-year chair Mark Brewer with the pledge that Republican-controlled Lansing cannot continue. In the face of mounting internal politics and an impending defeat, Brewer withdrew his candidacy the day of the vote. ...

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Bellwether for Detroit

In the controversy over the financial future of Detroit, uncertainty seems to be the most oft-repeated term. This uncertainty is attributed to the fact that no other major American city has faced the same kinds of structural problems confronting Detroit. From loss of population, abandonment of capital, to nearly half the property owners’ delinquency on taxes, we have little money to support essential servic ...

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‘No surprise’

On Feb. 19, the unofficial became official: Detroit is in a financial emergency. The state’s six-member financial review team, appointed in December, made the announcement at 4 p.m. Gov. Rick Snyder has 30 days to review the report and determine whether he will proceed with the group’s recommendation and appoint an emergency financial emergency (EFM). ...

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