State to hand more control back to Flint

Jan 11, 2018

The City of Flint could gain more local control after a state board voted Wednesday to give more power back to city officials.

The Receivership Transition Advisory Board, or RTAB, has reviewed the city’s decisions since 2015 when it was created by then emergency manager, Jerry Ambrose. The board looked at everything from hiring to approving city council decisions. That could soon be reduced simply to some financial oversight.

Ron Leix is with the Michigan Department of Treasury. He said the oversight board approved a reduction in oversight.

“As the city has demonstrated more and more fiscal responsibility and cooperation the RTAB chair felt it was time to step back, repeal the final emergency manager order, and let the city of Flint govern on its own.”

Leix said the State Treasurer still needs to approve the decision.

“This is just one step. Until the State Treasurer signs off on it it’s not final. We don’t know when that’s going to occur. That’s where we stand right now.”

The city was put into receivership in 2011 by Governor Snyder due to a financial emergency.

In a written statement Mayor Karen Weaver said of the decision quote “The individuals that the residents elect should be able to make decisions and do the job they were elected to do.”

Weaver’s full statement can be read below:

“This is another step in the right direction for Flint. Our City’s government has been under state control for years, and this is a decision the leaders and citizens of Flint have waited a long time for.

I appreciate Fred Headen, and all the members of RTAB for acknowledging the progress we have made in Flint, the leadership, and actions we have taken to satisfy the concerns of the State, despite all the challenges we have faced. I have always been in favor of home rule. The individuals that the residents elect should be able to make decisions and do the job they were elected to do. And we will continue doing what is in the best interest of the people and the future of Flint.”

The RTAB must now make a formal recommendation to state officials to rescind Emergency Order 20, which would restore authority back to City of Flint officials for day-to-day operations. While today’s action is a major step toward the City of Flint’s relationship with the RTAB being dissolved, pursuant to Public Act 436, the board would still have statutory powers and be utilized to approve budgets and collective bargaining agreements.