The Michigan treasury department is replacing Benton Harbor's long-time emergency financial manager, Joe Harris, on Feb. 1 with Detroit native Tony Saunders, a partner with the WYLD Marketing Group.
"Mr. Harris made many difficult but necessary decisions and implemented a number of measures to address the financial crisis in Benton Harbor," deputy treasurer Roger Fraser said in a statement. "However, while much has been done in an effort to return fiscal stability to Benton Harbor, the city remains in a financial emergency and this is an appropriate time to transition in a new direction for the city. We expect Tony Saunders will work collaboratively with city officials, residents and others to move the city closer to local control."
Saunders, who was also advising the state on behalf of the city of Highland Park, is a former chief of staff for Detroit City Council member Saunteel Jenkins and a senior advisor for council President Charles Pugh.