Opponents working to repeal emergency manager law - WNEM TV 5

Opponents working to repeal emergency manager law

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

"I think it's very clear that the emergency manager law does not work," said David Bullock.

Bullock is a community activist. He supports new legislation aimed at repealing the state's emergency manager law.

"Look at Flint the water crisis. An emergency manager is at the front of the class when it comes to why there's a man-made water crisis in Flint," Bullock said.

Republican state Rep. Tim Kelly supports the emergency manager law.

"This isn't on the backs of just the EM that was there. The EM was originally carrying out the wishes of the local city council. So this is ridiculous," Kelly said.

Kelly said the cash-strapped cities are given time to act before an emergency manager is put in place.

"If you have the right kind of alarm bells sounding off early enough, whether it's schools or municipalities, you would never need to have the governor appoint another EM," Kelly said.

Not every lawmaker agrees with Kelly's stance on this law.

Rep. Charles Brunner, a Democrat, supports the bill that would take the emergency manager law of the table.

"They're coming in and doing the same thing a group of elected officials have been trying to do and it hasn't worked," Brunner said.

Brunner said it's a statute that shouldn't be on the books.

"Well it was even voted down by the vote of the people at one point. And then the legislature, the leadership down here brought it back and put it into place," Brunner said.

Brunner said he thinks emergency managers would be more effective with the backing of state resources, something he said the position does not have.

Bullock said he believes Flint is one of many cities worse off because of an emergency manager, insisting the law hurts the citizens of Michigan.

"I think it's important to give the mayor their power back, city councils their power back," Bullock said. "And to allow citizens to interface with the people that they elect. Democracy works. What we need is more democracy."

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