Review Team: Allen Park Needs Emergency Manager
ALLEN PARK (WWJ/AP) – A team to responsible for reviewing Allen Park’s finances says Gov. Rick Snyder should appoint an emergency manager to run the city southwest of Detroit.
The review team cited the city’s deficit, $1 million in delinquent vendor payments, delayed pension payments and significant cash flow shortages. The city also had not filed an approved deficit-elimination plan for the 2011 fiscal year.
The review team also determined City Council is “manifestly dysfunctional.”
Snyder appointed the review team last month and a report was due within 60 days. The governor now has 30 days to determine if he agrees that a financial emergency exists in Allen Park.
Mayor William Matakas told the Detroit Free Press he was a “surprised” by the quick decision and “disappointed” by the findings. He said the city still could avoid a state takeover, provided the outcome of Tuesday’s City Council meeting, where officials hope to establish bargaining dates with the city’s police and fire unions.
“I’ve been the biggest proponent that we have the ability — our council and our staff — to balance our own budget,” said Matakas. “If we get everything done Tuesday night — which I hope we do — I’m going to call the governor. We’ll probably send an e-mail to Treasury.”
Allen Park, home to about 28,000 people, is struggling to erase a $1.6 million deficit. Falling property values and a failed movie studio development project are blamed in its problems.
If an emergency manager is appointed, Allen Park would be the eighth Michigan city where the state has intervened. Flint, Pontiac, Benton Harbor and Ecorse all have emergency managers. Three more cities, including Detroit, are under consent agreements.
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