Michigan Monday launched a preliminary financial review of Flint, making the long-struggling city the first to undergo such a review since the state passed a new, broader emergency management law.
Mayor Dayne Walling held a press conference Friday saying he had received a letter from state Treasurer Andy Dillon announcing the review.
“We all know what this can mean because Flint has gone through it before,” Walling said, referring to the state takeover of the city in 2002. “This time the outcome will be different. … We’ll avoid the need for state control of our finances.”
The review could lead to a number of outcomes, including a lack of action, appointment of an emergency manager, or a consent decree between Michigan and Flint that would allow locally elected officials to remain in power and give them more authority, including the ability to terminate or unilaterally modify labor contracts.
The Flint Journal quoted Gov. Rick Snyder’s spokesman as saying that the city was a “prime example” of how the new law will help the city avoid a takeover.
“Because of these extra tools, we’re going to be working tirelessly to avoid an emergency manager,” the spokesman said.
Flint is the only city under review from the state. Michigan has emergency managers in Detroit Public Schools, and the cities of Benton Harbor, Ecorse, and Pontiac.
The Highland Park School District is also under review.