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Flint EM preparing to begin the process of returning city to local control

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint’s emergency manager plans to start prepping for the end of his tenure.

Flint has been under an emergency manager since 2011. 

Current emergency manager Darnell Earley’s appointment ends in April.    He’s working now to begin the transition back to local control.

“The bulk of the heavy lifting has taken place,” says Earley, “It’s now a matter of making sure the things that need to be in place once the emergency is over are indeed up and running and ready to go.”

That process took a step forward this month as Earley appointed Natasha Henderson to be Flint’s new city administrator. Henderson has been Muskegon Heights city manager since 2008. In February, Henderson is scheduled to begin her duties running the city’s day-to-day operations.

During the past year, Earley has been working toward a long term financial forecast, a plan to reduce Flint’s deficit, dealing with legacy costs and addressing other strategic issues. 

“I’m optimistic that we’re doing all the things we need to do so that when that time comes around the city will be poised to move forward and hopefully avoid any future trips back to receivership,” says Earley. 

Earley says he will start the process of creating a transition advisory board after the first of the year.

The cities of Flint and Lincoln Park, along with school districts in Detroit, Highland Park and Muskegon Heights are currently under an emergency manager.  

Pontiac, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Allen Park and Hamtramack have entered the next stage of the transition back to local control.      

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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