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A hearing on whether a temporary restraining order should be issued regarding the Highland Park and City of Detroit Review Teams is set for 1:30 p.m. Monday before Ingham County Circuit Court judge William Collette.
Collette expected to hear arguments on whether the state’s pre-emergency manager financial review teams are violating the Open Meetings A ct.
State officials claim the review teams are not public bodies and are therefore allowed to meet behind closed doors. But Robert Davis, the union activist and Highland Park School Board member who filed the lawsuit, claims the review teams are so clandestine they don’t even keep records.
Members of Detroit City Council, last month, told WWJ Newsradio 950 that they were asked to meet in small groups with the team, in order to avoid violating the Open Meetings Act. Members also said they had been asked not to discuss the contents of those meetings with the media. Some council members refused to attend.
While an emergency manager is already in place in Highland Park Schools, in Detroit, a 3-year tentative labor deal reached this weel gives hope to many that an EM can still be avoided.
As enacted, a new state law allows the governor to appoint a financial review team and, as the next step, take over a local government by appointing an emergency manager to assume the authority and responsibility of locally elected officials. It includes the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements and even dissolve a unit of government. Some have called the new law unconstitutional.