Gov. names Flint, Mich., emergency manager

Nov. 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM
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FLINT, Mich., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Tuesday appointed Michael Brown to run the city of Flint until it gets its financial house in order.

"I know it's a major challenge, there's no glossing it over," the newly appointed city emergency manager told the Flint Journal in a telephone interview. "I think there's a long road ahead and we've got a lot of work to do."

A state-appointed review panel had recommended this month that the state take over management of the city after finding a structural deficit and other serious financial problems, the newspaper said.

Brown, in effect, will be Flint's czar, with the city's elected leaders having to answer to him and abdicating authority over city contracts, personnel and other matters to him. He said he will start his new job Thursday.

"I'm ready to go to work," he said. "I'm going in with my eyes open, that's for sure."

The Detroit News said Brown, who served as acting mayor of Flint for six months in 2009, is president of the Prima Civitas Foundation in Lansing and director of the Flint Area Reinvestment Office.

"Michael Brown has a strong track record of serving the Flint-area community," the News quoted Snyder as saying. "Given his experience in public, private, and non-profit settings, I'm confident he is well equipped to take on this critical post."

The Michigan Legislature this year passed legislation giving emergency managers wide-reaching powers to cancel union contracts and overrule elected boards and city officials, the News noted.

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