To the editor:
It is ironic that Matt Huuki would use the democratic process expecting us to vote for him while he voted to take away the democratic rights of elected officials and residents of governmental units in financial trouble. He voted for Act 4 which puts an emergency financial manager in control of these governmental units.
The title of emergency financial manager sounds good, but that person once appointed is a virtual dictator who would control all aspects of the governmental unit. The legally elected officials and residents would lose all control and be disenfranchised with no voice in the local governmental affairs. The EFM would make all decisions. The EFM could terminate contracts, dismiss personnel, sell or change the use of assets, change or terminate services and even reorganize the governmental unit all without a vote of the governmental unit or its residents.
The salary of the EFM isn't under local control, either. They are picked and responsible only to the governor who sets their salary. The local residents have no voice in the selection and only get to pay the bill. When a salary limit was proposed in the legislature, the Republican majority stopped it so that there is no limit.
There is concern about socialism from the political left, but it's ironic that a serious threat to democracy has come from the political right using the excuse of financial problems. When the previous EFM law was considered too weak, Matt Huuki and the Republican-controlled legislature and governor passed Act 4 granting virtual dictatorial powers in the current law. If Michigan voters defeat Proposal 1 on Nov. 6, what excuse will be used to take our democratic rights next? Instead of seeking options that support Democracy and working with local units of government, will some more rights be taken away?
In the 1920s and '30s, the threat of communism from the political left was used to seize dictatorial power by the political right in some European countries. We need to be sure our rights are not taken away by either the left or right using the excuses used today. On Nov. 6, vote for candidates that support Democracy, not taking away our rights to select our own local political officials.
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