PA4 repeal certified
By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Michigan Board of Canvassers certified Proposal 1 Nov. 26, making the repeal of Public Act 4 official. The law, which gave unchecked powers to emergency managers over fiscally-challenged cities and school districts had been suspended since Aug. 8 when the Board of Canvassers, following an Appeals Court order, approved petitions to place the law on the November ballot.
Emergency Managers have not stepped down and Gov. Snyder resurrected Public Act 72, the weaker version of emergency management.
Shortly before the November general election, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts said he would resign if Public Act 4 was repealed. He subsequently reneged and issued a letter stating he would wait until the results were certified. He had not resigned by press time.
Roberts is currently the emergency financial manager of the district, by authority of Public Act 72, which some say is illegal because the preceding law was repealed by Public Act 4.
Highland Park School Board member Robert Davis filed a motion in August asking Attorney General Bill Schuette to remove Roberts. Schuette refused.
The day after the election Davis filed suit in the Michigan Court of Appeals. It sided with Schuette and ruled PA 72 did indeed come into effect with the repeal of PA 4. Thus Gov. Rick Snyder’s power to appoint emergency financial managers remains. Davis has appealed that ruling.
“All the emergency managers and emergency financial managers should voluntarily step down,” Davis said. “It is quite clear PA4 was repealed. It is equally clear MCL 8.4 prohibits PA72 from replacing PA4.”
DPS Chief Communications Officer said Roberts has not made a decision to resign. Wasko said Roberts position as EFM has been has been validated by several courts and he (Roberts) has reached out to the Detroit Board of Education several times to formulate a cordial working arrangement. The board has not responded. “PA72 and his (Roberts) position are valid,” Wasko said. “We’re aware the case is in the Michigan Supreme Court but until, and if, they rule otherwise, Mr. Roberts will continue in the capacity as EFM.”
The election results were certified as 2,130,354 to retain PA4 and 2,370,601 to repeal it, a 240,247 vote difference. Find the results at: http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/election/results/12GEN/90000001.html.