Royal Oak Township joins list of Black communities under EM
By T. Kelly
The Michigan Citizen
Gov. Rick Snyder is preparing to subject another Black community to emergency management, making it the eighth city under total state control, if Highland Park is also taken.
Cities under emergency management comprise nine percent of the state’s population and half of the Black population. The subjection of Highland Park and Royal Oak will bump up those percentages.
Royal Oak Charter Township, the small municipality sandwiched along Eight Mile between Ferndale and Oak Park, is under a 30-day state review to assess its financial stress, according to published reports.
Residents are dismayed to be facing the loss of police and fire protection. The township is unable to pay Oakland County and Ferndale for services, having lost their own forces due to earlier budget cuts.
As with Highland Park, the governor is charging Royal Oak with failure to make timely pension contributions and meet deficit elimination plans.
Elected officials in both municipalities point to the state’s cuts in revenue sharing as contributing to the decline. Foreclosures on predatory lending properties, four decades of deindustrialization and population flight are all contributing factors.