Over the past few months, there has been an uproar across the state over
Governor Rick Snyders plan to place emergency managers into school
districts and municipalities deemed to be under financial stress.
Emergency managers have broad powers to negate public union contracts and
to supersede local school boards, city managers and town councils. Local
communities that are under the kind of fiscal stress that could make them
targets include the Village of Elberta and Bellaire. Benton Harbor and the
Detroit School District have already been subject to emergency managers.
The Northern Express recently sat down with three of the locals behind a
petition drive to force a referendum to repeal Public Act 4, a law passed
in March at the request of Gov. Snyder to implement the emergency manager
program. We spoke to Amy Hardin, Betsy Coffia and Kevin Skarnulis. Francis
Cullen, the fourth member of the group, could not attend.