Michigan May Take Over Detroit

Governor may appoint emergency manager

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 28, 2011 4:41 AM CST | Updated Dec 28, 2011 6:00 AM CST

(Newser) – If Detroit can't get its finances in order soon, it may become the biggest American city ever to be taken over by a state. Rick Snyder, Michigan's Republican governor, has appointed a team to review the city's finances. If members conclude that the situation constitutes an emergency, Snyder is expected to appoint an emergency manager to run the city, sidelining Mayor Dave Bing and the city council, MSNBC reports. A preliminary review found that Detroit has a deficit of $200 million and long-term debts of more than $12 billion.

The review team, which is expected to complete its work by March, "is probably going to concur that there is a financial crisis in the city," the director of a turnaround firm that works with struggling municipalities tells the Detroit Free Press. "Time is not the city's friend. If the city and mayor have an opportunity to control their own destiny, that time is running out. If they can't control their own destiny, someone else will do it." Religious and civil rights leaders have promised protests and possible civil disobedience if the state takes over Detroit.

Pedestrians walk by the abandoned Packard plant in east Detroit.
Pedestrians walk by the abandoned Packard plant in east Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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