AP asks state for financial manager

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – City councilors made their request for a state financial review official Tuesday, when they voted to approve a letter drafted by City Administrator John Zech to be sent to the state Treasury, which could lead to an emergency financial manager.

Councilors voted 5-2 to send the letter, with Mayor Bill Matakas and Councilman Bob Keenan dissenting.

“What happens next, I’ve never been through one of these before,” Zech said. “I don’t know how that goes, but I suspect we’ll hear from the treasurer the first of next week.”

The letter, sent out Wednesday, stemmed from a March 13 unanimous council vote to ask Zech to draft the letter after a request from Councilman Harry Sisko, who cited many factors including “failed” police and fire negotiations, the city’s recent bond downgrading from Standard and Poors, and his belief that a two-year 4 mill millage to subsidize the city’s studio property is likely to fail.

The letter is one of 14 triggers for a review team from the treasury under Michigan Public Act 4, which will determine if a financial emergency exists and if a plan is in place to address it.

At the March 13 meeting, Financial Advisor Carl Johnson of Plante & Moran said that the review team could be out in as soon as a week, and no plan currently exists.

From there, the review team would recommend to the governor whether the city should be assigned an emergency financial manager or sign a consent agreement regarding financial changes with the review team.