If you would like to talk to Martha Scott about this bill or anything else, she will be at Maine Street tomorrow morning for Coffee Hours from 8:30 to 9:30.
Excerpt from Martha Scott’s e-newsletter:
This week, my colleague Senator Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, announced that he is sponsoring a bill, Senate Bill 461, that will require greater accountability from state government in appointing an emergency financial manager. I applaud this measure and am proud to be a co-sponsor of the bill.
In his press release announcing the bill, Senator Bishop said, “Given the precarious nature of our current economic situation, fiscal woes in one community can have a statewide impact. Should an emergency financial manager be required, we need a system that allows for a public review of all potential candidates and provides all citizens with a level of confidence in the ability of the individual chosen.”
Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema, R-Wyoming, also expressed his support for this bill in Senator Bishop’s press release, saying, “Current law is allowing the appointment of financial managers with questionable backgrounds. For example, the governor recently appointed Arthur Blackwell II to be the financial manager of Highland Park. The Detroit News described the governor’s action as ‘plopping a voracious wolf in the middle of the hen-house.’ The people of Highland Park deserve to be treated better. That’s why Senator Bishop’s legislation is necessary and why we’ll be moving forward with it as soon as possible.”
Now, a local emergency financial assistance loan board, designated by the Governor, appoints an emergency financial manager for a locality determined to be in a financial emergency under state law. Senator Bishop’s legislation would require the local emergency financial loan board to submit no more than three names to the governor as potential emergency financial managers. The governor would then appoint an emergency financial manager for a term of not more than one year, using the advice and consent of the Senate to do so. The term could be renewed on a year-by-year basis.
This is a well-propositioned measure, and one that will instill not only greater accountability in the appointment of emergency financial managers, but also greater public confidence in those appointees. I look forward to working with Senator Bishop toward its passage.