Emergency Manager Joe Harris claims Benton Harbor supports him
Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris said last night that 90 percent of the local citizens believe that he is the “angel of common sense” though he acknowledged that no poll has been taken.
Earlier this month Harris used new powers granted under Public Act 4 — the Emergency Manager law — to remove all decision making power from Benton Harbor’s elected officials.
“They were effectively … fired by the state legislature,” Harris told [
Fox 2 News](http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/huel_perkins/benton-harbor-efm-joe-harris-talks-to-fox-2-20110425-wpms). “… Public Act 4 of 2011 stripped all local government legislators and the mayors and the city officials of the power that they once had. The order that I issued a couple weeks ago simply reiterated the fact that these individuals no longer had the authority that they once had.”
Harris, who formerly served as Chief Financial Officer and as Auditor General for the city of Detroit, said that it is conceivable that he will terminate contracts for public workers in Benton Harbor and he said that Mayor Bing will not be able to address Detroit’s financial problems without authority to change the terms of collective bargaining agreements.