Thursday, March 18, 2010

Letter to Editor with Rev. Pinkney's commentary in brackets.

Emergency manager a critical, needed step for BH

Editor, (3/12 Herald Palladium)

I am a longtime resident of our city and a member of the Benton Harbor City Commission. I am writing to express my full support for the governor's appointment of an emergency financial manager for the city of Benton Harbor.

[Joseph expresses this opinion because he fully supports Whirlpool and Harbor Shores development. Without the state takeover, Whirlpool could not complete HShores.]

Recently Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced her decision to appoint an emergency financial manager for Benton Harbor. This decision was based on significant work done by a Benton Harbor Finance Review Team and the state Treasury Department. While it may, in the short term, reflect poorly on the city of Benton Harbor, it is an excellent opportunity to address issues that have plagued the city.

[Granholm has been working hand in had with Whirlpool and HShores developers for a long time. They want the remaining lakefront land.]

Public Act 72 of 1990, the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act, requires that the governor make a decision within 30 days of receiving a financial review team report that identifies significant issues within the city. A report was submitted to Gov. Granholm by the Benton Harbor Financial Review Team on Jan. 27. Gov. Granholm agreed with the conclusions of the report and has determined that a financial emergency exists within the city of Benton Harbor. The governor has recommended the appointment of an emergency financial manager.

[Why does Granholm respond to a BH financial emergency now, when one has existed for many years? Benton Harbor's city government has never been on her radar screen. And, a city manager has recently come along, in concert with a more than competent city commission. Solutions to financial problems are finally possible, and she wants to do a takeover? Sounds very much like she has a (not so hidden) agenda.

And, it's common knowledge that the poor job Granholm has done calls for a takeover of the state finances.]

As you may be aware, there is significant transformation occurring in the community now. A strong, effective municipal structure is needed to catalyze these activities. The appointment of the emergency financial manager is a critical step in stabilizing Benton Harbor and making it a great place to live, work and play.

[It is critical that we stop Gov. Granholm, her cronies, and Whirlpool from taking over the city. They want the remaining lakefront land. Desperately. Whirlpool would also like to continue having Benton Harbor pay their water bills. And more.]

Bryan Joseph, BH City Commissioner