Editor’s Note: EM law worked for Wayne
Since the Flint water crisis, the state’s emergency manager law has been under fire as a culprit in the decision to switch the source of the city’s water.
But the law has worked to help many communities regain their financial footing. That includes the city of Detroit, which was guided through bankruptcy by EM Kevyn Orr.
Now count Wayne County as a beneficiary of the law that allows the state to intervene deeply in a community’s financial affairs.
County Executive Warren Evans used the law to craft a consent agreement with the state that gave him many of the powers of an emergency manager, without ceding control of the county.
With the agreement in hand, Evans had leverage to negotiate concessions with county unions, who feared bigger cuts if an emergency manager was appointed.
Thursday, Evans and the state dissolved the agreement, declaring Wayne County had taken the steps necessary to avoid financial collapse.
The Wayne County deal should serve as often as possible as a model for rescuing other troubled communities.