DETROIT (WWJ) – We could know as soon as next week whether Gov. Rick Snyder will appoint an emergency manager to oversee the financial recovery of the city of Detroit. On Tuesday, a state team tasked with analyzing the city’s finances is scheduled to report its findings to the governor.
One person who can empathize with the challenges facing Detroit is Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski, whose city fell under the control of an EM back in 2009.
Jukowski said the political class is much more upset with the whole concept of an emergency manager than the man on the street.
“My experience has been that people appreciate the results. You know, Pontiac has more police officers on the street then it had two years ago, “said Jukowski. “We’ve got the same kind of fire coverage and we’re paying about $4 million less for it — so it’s not the end of the world.
“I think that your citizens care about police coverage. You know, when I call 911, does somebody show up? That’s what people think of city government,” he said.
Jukowski said, however, if you can get the mayor and city council to come together to make the tough decisions, that’s a better way to go. His advice to Mayor Dave Bing and others in Detroit?
“Put your sights on what needs to be done and work toward solving those problems — whether you have an emergency manager or not,” Jukowski said.
Jukowski said he will be “shocked” if an EM is not appointed for Detroit, which currently faces a more than $300 million budget deficit.