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Emergency manager appointed for Pontiac, Mich.

Louis Schimmel, a former state-appointed receiver for the city of Ecorse and one time Emergency Manager of Hamtramck, now working as executive administrator in Warren, has been tapped by state officials to take over as Emergency Manager in Pontiac.

The Detroit News reports:

Schimmel will replace Michael Stampfler, who in August called for $15 million in possible new taxes and a reduction in city services — including cutting 10 newly contracted Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies. Stampfler has been at odds with city officials and residents over some of his proposals. He was the second emergency manager in Pontiac, replacing Fred Leeb.

The proposal was part of a plan to address an estimated $12.5 million deficit this fiscal year.

This spring I chatted with Schimmel via e-mail after the Mackinac Center recommended him as an expert on privatizing services as an Emergency Manager. He expressed support of the recent expansion of powers for EMs:

The new EFM legislation takes care of most all of the problems I was dealing with when I was an EFM. The legislation was badly needed. Regarding police, it is the one thing in a municipality I would not privatize because there are really no outside providers. Instead I would share or consolidate services and costs with neighboring municipalities or purchase the service from the county.

I asked him how EMs will determine how much police service a community needs and whether jails can be privatized.

An EM will determine the amount of police service based on the amount of revenues available. Typically, most municipalities spend 75% of their General Fund revenues for police and fire. That is too much and needs to be reduced so that other municipal services will not suffer. Jails currently can be privatized and many are. The City of Sterling Heights just recently privatized its jail. As I said police is hard to privatize, but certain functions of police work, such as jails, can easily be privatized.

The Metro Times describes Schimmel’s stint in Hamtramck here.

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