Resident asks state to review city finances

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — A resident has asked the Michigan Department of Treasury to investigate the city’s finances.

The Detroit News reported last week that resident Bryan Diebolt sent a letter to the state in March requesting a financial review, citing layoff notices that were given to the entire Fire Department and then rescinded. The letter also mentions the failed Studio Center.

A request for financial review is the first step needed toward an appointment of an emergency financial manager under a state law that passed in March. The law allows such officials to void union contracts, sell assets and dissolve entire governments in financially struggling cities.

Under the law, a request from a resident is not enough to bring about a financial review. A petition signed by 5 percent of voters is required. But according to the story, a debt rating in the BBB range also can spur a financial review and Allen Park’s debt rating falls within that range.

Under Gov. Jennifer Granholm, emergency financial managers were appointed Ecorse, Pontiac, Benton Harbor and in Detroit Public Schools.

Diebolt declined comment Wednesday, saying he wanted the Detroit News story to be his only public remarks on the matter.

Calls to City Administrator David Tamsen seeking comment were not returned by press time.

The Treasury Department is expected to make a decision on the request within two weeks.