So now Michigan is stuck with Snyder 2, which is rapidly shaping up to be the mirror image of Snyder 1 when it comes to the second term governor’s undying belief in emergency management as the ultimate salvation for whatever ails troubled municipalities. Oh, and his companion belief that democracy and voting rights are for chumps.
It’s good to be king.
The short version is as follows; roughly two weeks ago, Gov. Snyder installed Emergency Manager #4 to oversee Detroit Public Schools in a rather blatant move to prevent the democratically elected School Board from having any control over the entity they were elected by the people of Detroit to control. Even though the recent departure of Emergency Manager #3 was supposed to mean that the schools would finally be released from Snyder’s grip and returned to Detroit School Board control – or at least that’s what most of us were led to believe – Snyder pulled another one of his famous slight-of-hand tricks to maintain control and next thing we knew some guy named Darnell Early from Flint was being installed. The deal apparently happened so fast that even his people in Flint didn’t know the man was leaving until he was gone. For details, no one could do the story justice any better than Curt Guyette for the Detroit Metro Times, who opens his piece as follows:
When Gov. Rick Snyder took a seat at the Burton International Academy in Detroit last week, a sense of déjà vu hung heavy in the air.
With emergency manager Jack Martin’s 18-month term about to expire in two days, the stage was set, at least theoretically, for the elected school board to regain some measure of power. Instead, Snyder came to the elementary school on Detroit’s west side to announce that Martin was stepping down and being replaced by Darnell Earley, the appointed emergency manager in Flint.
In other words, democracy was being put on ice — for the fourth time in less than six years.
Gov. Snyder has no intention of allowing the people of Detroit any say-so when it comes to Detroit Public Schools. The fact that there is scant evidence that emergency management has produced any measure of real progress for Detroit schools, especially given the length of time they have been given free reign over the entire system, doesn’t seem to matter.
Snyder’s decision more than two years ago to ignore the will of the people and install Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr over and above its elected leaders as King of Detroit is now being heralded by many as a brilliant stroke, and Orr is a virtual rock star. The fact that Snyder ignored and spat upon the election results of November 2012 when Michigan voters overwhelmingly voted to repeal Snyder’s upgraded Emergency Manager law, steamrolling his will right over their voting rights, is pretty much a hush-hush issue these days. But as criminal an act as that was, at least Orr did finally leave once his term was up, and the city – for the most part – was returned to its duly elected leaders.
But here we are with EM #4 at Detroit Public Schools, and the very real possibility that Snyder can keep his middle finger jammed up our backside playing this game for as long as it gets him off. Hey, it’s little surprise the man feels like he can screw Detroiters again with impunity. It was, after all, so good to him the first time.