Monthly Archives: January 2016

Emergency Managers, Emergency Management

Synonyms for Headlee Evasion

Darnell Early

Darnell Early

La victoria trova cento padri, a nessuno vuole riconoscere l’insuccesso
A victory finds 100 fathers, nobody claims credit for a failure.
Galezzo Ciano, 2o Conte di Cortellazzo e Buccari, Diary (1942)

The left wing meme on the Flint Water fiasco is that Governor Snyder seized absolute control of Flint and installed doctrinaire Republican viceroys who ruthlessly slashed Flint’s payroll and expenditures without any regard for the residents.

If only this were so.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

The Flint emergency managers had only one common thread in their backgrounds, long records of administration in government and the nonprofit sectors. No productive experience. Experts at spending other people’s money. Well paid experts.  Outright Democrats or chameleons politically; typical politics of the bureaucratic class. Look at the backgrounds of the Flint emergency managers:

Edward Kurtz

Michael K. Brown

Edward Kurtz, again

Michael K. Brown, again

Darnell Early

Gerald (Jerry) Ambrose

Emergency managers are not viceroys with absolute powers. The evolution of emergency management in Michigan was frustrated by public union opposition. Five successive laws, one repealed by referendum. The law in force during the critical Flint water fiasco decisions is PA 436 of 2012. The powers it confers upon emergency managers are:

MCL 141.1549, Section 9

(2) Upon appointment, an emergency manager shall act for and in the place and stead of the governing body and the office of chief administrative officer of the local government. The emergency manager shall have broad powers in receivership to rectify the financial emergency and to assure the fiscal accountability of the local government and the local government’s capacity to provide or cause to be provided necessary governmental services essential to the public health, safety, and welfare. Following appointment of an emergency manager and during the pendency of receivership, the governing body and the chief administrative officer of the local government shall not exercise any of the powers of those offices except as may be specifically authorized in writing by the emergency manager or as otherwise provided by this act and are subject to any conditions required by the emergency manager.

The emergency managers replace the mayors, council, and chief administrative officers of the municipal governments. While this does indeed give them extraordinary powers of control, their control is anything but absolute. The municipal charter continues in effect and continues to protect the prerogatives of lesser bureaucrats. The vague statutory powers of emergency managers beyond replacing the mayor, council, and chief administrative officer poses unremitting legal jeopardy to emergency managers. Encourages timidity and bureaucratic subterfuge. Not absolute control.

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Speaking Of Headlee

Asked often enough about government: "Is this even legal? "

pig-collieOne might question the way in which money can be transferred to ‘cover’ other expenses.

We know that pensions are untouchable, but in times of financial distress, some governmental entities are finding out that health care is NOT off the table.  However, others are developing more abusive ways to maintain the ‘status-quo.’  From Bloomfield TWP:

Bloomfield Township taxpayers have been receiving higher and higher bills for water and sewer each year.  Yet in a controversial 5-2 vote in late 2015, Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees transferred  $2.76 million of the fees collected from the citizens water/sewer bills and deposited those millions into a Retired Employees Health Care Trust.

Can you say “turning a fee into a tax?”

Is there any wonder why some might say that creativity in government can be a bad thing?

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No Chemists!

Governor Snyder Continues to Demonstrate The Finesse Which Made Gateway Great

Snyder Flint Press Conference 27 January 2016Governor Snyder announced the remaining members of the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee today. No chemists. Not one person with a chemistry degree. Undoubtedly, a fine collection of worthy government officials. Four ‘field experts’, none of whom are chemists. Medical doctors are not chemists. Public health administrators are not chemists. Civil engineers are not chemists. Materials scientists are not chemists. Chemists are chemists. Chemists know things:

Thermodynamics
Kinetics
pH
Equilibrium
Redox

The lead in Flint drinking water is, at its core, an issue of water chemistry. Water chemistry was allowed to go completely berserk at the Flint Water Treatment Plant for 18 months. Flint’s distribution system has been severely damaged. Fixing that damaged distribution piping is a venture into uncharted territory. Only an inorganic chemist with a command of thermodynamics, kinetics, pH, ICP-OES analysis, and the equilibrium of redox reactions will successfully navigate this uncharted territory. Not another lying MDEQ clown, either. They had their shot and blew it. Why the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee is necessary in the first place.

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev Дми́трий Ива́нович Менделе́ев 1834 – 1907

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev
Дми́трий Ива́нович Менделе́ев
1834 – 1907

No one will trust Flint water until its chemistry is brought under control and that will require adult supervision – a genuine chemist. Detroit Water & Sewerage water is not a magic bullet. Detroit’s water works in Detroit’s distribution system. Detroit’s distribution system has not been damaged by 18 months of reckless water chemistry.

Flint’s water chemistry needs to be fixed, yesterday. New lawsuits against the State of Michigan are being filed every day. The latest filed this morning by the ACLU and a host of liberal pressure groups takes a new tack, alleging violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Suffice it to say, Michigan has no viable legal defense against this suit.

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Are there any other “past practices” that we should be made aware of?

If there is any doubt whether or not the children are responsible enough to have been handed the keys to Detroit. This piece alone should put ANY doubt to rest.

I’ve commented numerous times in the past regarding how I (or any rational-thinking person for that matter), would not (/should not) buy into the Kool Aid that Gov. Snyder & Co. have been doling out is massive quantities pertaining to the Detroit Bankruptcy and subsequent Michigan State Government forced takeover (and more importantly Michigan Taxpayer paid) “turnaround” of Detroit.

To even suggest that DECADES of ingrained, multi-generational self-destructive personal behavior was going to instantaneously disappear simply because a spreadsheet was balanced (sort of) is just naiveté taken to the Nth degree.

Unemployment is still a major problem within Detroit.

So is the marked lack of a stable family structure.

And let’s not forget the woefully under-reported, long-anticipated collapse of the Detroit Public School System.

A new detail came out yesterday that should make everyone’s BP shoot up through the roof (and give you yet another reason to oppose giving the children running ANY level of Detroit government any more of our hard-earned money).

{More below}

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Bureaucratic Capture In The Flint Water Fiasco, An Echo Of Proposal 1

Snyder's Email Dump Is Most Notable for What It Doesn't Show: Management

Snyder Steudle Image 1Governor Snyder went way out on a political limb supporting Proposal 2015-01. By the time this limb broke off at the polls on May 5th, his only remaining allies were MDoT, MITA, and Michigan’s nitwit media.

MDoT’s Director, Kirk T. Steudle, P.E. received lavish, flattering coverage in our nitwit media throughout the road funding proposal campaign. The Transportation Asset Management Council, an MDoT tool, packaged an avalanche of lies in glossy pamphlets for public consumption. An entirely fictitious Washington think tank, TRIP, used inside MDoT information to issue even more incredulous lies. Governor Snyder parroted these titillating lies thoughout his Proposal 1 media campaign. He was entirely comfortable promoting the agenda of his ‘technical experts’.

Pre SB 571 campaign finance law allowed us to watch MITA spend $ 5.4 million supporting this turkey, more than half the total spent by Safe Roads Yes! The Michigan Infrastructure and Transporatation Association is ostensibly a bunch of independent, competitive contractors. Somehow a fractious bunch of competitors planned and executed a well coordinated – if entirely devious – political campaign.

How did they coordinate?

How did this presage the Flint water fiasco?

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Inside Michigan Officially Falls On Its Side

Michigan Political subscription newsletter drives into the ditch.

On the left side.

Susan Demas has hardly ever pretended to be fair or balanced, much less a fan of conservative or GOP causes in the state. Her liberal bent was often on display in her distorted reporting style, so when Bill Ballenger sold the subscription based newsletter he founded in 1987 to her it seemed to many, that the end had come to his labor of love.

Demas’ statement upon taking the successful newsletter Inside Michigan Politics on its last ride was

“Inside Michigan Politics is the gold standard for political journalism in Michigan.  I look forward to ensuring that IMP continues its tradition of fair and non-partisan reporting and analysis. Most of all, I look forward to the opportunity of working with Bill, who has been a friend and mentor to me for many years.”

A friend indeed.

She fired him for having an opinion that was not in line with her view of the Flint Water crisis.

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Headlee Evasion Caused Flint’s Water Quality Fiasco

Water Has A Very Special Attribute In Southeast Michigan

Water is Money Image 6You probably think the water which comes out of the taps in your house is for drinking and washing. You would be wrong. Michigan drinking water is first and foremost a mechanism for Michigan politicians to evade limits imposed upon them by the Headlee Amendment. You probably think Michigan water systems have quality as their top concern. You would be wrong. Michigan water departments are directed to maximize revenue by their political masters. These unfortunate facts are the genesis of Flint’s sorry water quality.

Michigan’s lefties and the ignorati in our media have fabricated a popular history of the Flint water situation which begins with Governor Snyder and his emergency managers on 25 April 2014, the date Flint started drawing its drinking water from the Flint River. Craven emergency managers appointed by Governor Snyder plotted to poison Flint residents to save a few bucks. The truth is rather different.

The history of this calamity actually begins in 1978, when the Headlee Amendment to Michigan’s Constitution was passed by outraged Michigan voters.

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How Did We Ever Survive Without THIS?

New bloat in state government a waste of time and effort.

From the still shaking-my-head dept.

Melanin content might soon have its own do-nothing department.  ‘Racial justice’ warriors found their champions in our legislature, as the Michigan Senate found thirty-four willing huzzahs beating out the two belligerent harrumphs on 2015 senate bill 90.

Passed 34 to 2 in the Senate on January 14, 2016, to create an “Office of African-American Affairs” in the state Department of Civil Rights, and a government African-American Affairs Commission consisting of 15 political appointees who have “a particular interest or expertise in African-American concerns,” with the mission of developing “a unified policy and plan of action to serve the needs of African-Americans in this state”

Ok.. but what about section 26 part 2 of the Michigan Constitution?

§26 (2) The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

And given that, it begs the question:

“What’s the point?”  What might this commission accomplish outside of the areas that government has business operating in?

Unless it is ALL ABOUT getting federal aid.

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Oh, if that were only true.

Jason beat me to the punch on the whole 2016 SOTS speech tonight.

I don’t like to admit it, but I’ll watch it (recorded earlier in the night) just so that I would have something to talk about later in the week whenever the subject came up.

Unlike Pres. B.O.’s SOTU, in which the best description I’ve heard of it so far was 45-minutes of clinical textbook narcissism on public display, Gov. Snyder’s SOTS speeches are a good indication of what tricks the CPA with the MBA has up his sleeve.

Just like Pres. B.O.’s SOTU’s where he references himself so many times, it practically has become a drinking game, Gov. Snyder also has a similar habit as well; and that is to project his guilty conscience on the rest of Michigan over {fill-in-the-blank} cause which inevitably involves the Michigan Taxpayer picking up the tab to assuage this guilt.

This year there will be no shortage of things for him to find for us to pay for: like the Flint Water crisis apocalypse harbinger of the end times situation justifying 15-minutes of relevancy for community agitators like Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore, Sam Riddle, etc.

Wayne County going bankrupt (Oh, where will the Wayne Co. BoC’s next check come from?).

Or maybe, the sudden widespread malady that is causing so many Detroit Public Schools to close due to “sickouts”.

That last one will be interesting because of all of the media exposure over the past several days.

Peeling paint. Falling tiles. Broken plumbing. Dead rodents.

Remind me again on why the City of Detroit stopped doing its job and inspected these buildings in the first place?

IMG_5859

Yep, some plywood, a padlock and a “No Trespassing” sign. Yessiree, this school building is now secure! Feel free to click on the image to better see the building securement. Never mind the missing sheet of plywood over the upper floor window. No one would EVER think about going through there.

Now, if Detroit had just a little bit of money to address this problem all will be well in the world.

I can pretty much guarantee that will be mentioned by Gov Snyder in some form tonight.

If only that were the truth!

{Unfortunate details below the fold}

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Michigan State Of The State 2016

Its that time of the year again.

stateofstate-winnerOh boy.

Last year’s spectacle included such lofty goals as improving third grade reading, talking about Michigan’s energy future, and a bit of in-your-face breaking the law. Certainly, there isn’t much that could be done to put such a performance to shame.

Unless something actually happened in the meantime.

I suppose we could expect him to talk up the miserable failure of the tax increase package which happened on May 5th. An 80-20 loss in these strange times must certainly be the new ‘winning’ formula.  Up is down and down is up, and obviously the citizens wanted it so bad they voted “NO.”  So a new roads tax package was crafted from ..the old tax package.

But, 2016 is going to be different.  I can feel it.  Things are looking up.  Well, of course we have to get by the Detroit schools issue. I know he will talk about making that a priority.  Maybe the impending doom in Wayne county finances? Perhaps the collapse of ‘Healthy Michigan,’ due to its incredible and unpredictable success?

Maybe it might be concentrated on all the good things that are about to happen to Flint?

Michael Moore may be calling for the guv’s head right now, but I guess he must not understand the new standards of bizzaro progressivism.  Truth is, Snyder is more personally responsible for poisoning the Republican party brand than he is any of the chilluns in Flint.  It was at RightMichigan where the original warnings  were issued for that anyhow.  But we couldn’t possibly have known how bad it could be.

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