Roberts threatened to quit DPS if Proposal 1 failed, but won't - Fox 2 News Headlines

Roberts threatened to quit DPS if Proposal 1 failed, but won't

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By Amy Andrews
Fox 2 News Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Opponents of the emergency manager law or Public Act 4, are rejoicing after voters shot down Proposal 1, the ballot referendum that would've given the governor the power to appoint an emergency manager as soon as the state identified a financial emergency.

"We marched, we fought and lastly we voted, and the State of Michigan decided that they cared about democracy and they did not want Public Act 4 nor emergency managers in their cities," said Rev. Charles Williams II, president of National Action Network Michigan.

Now that Proposal 1 has been rejected, the state reverts to Public Act 72, an emergency manager law that has been on the books for two decades and is far less reaching.

"We have the less effective version, which was the old emergency manager law, still in place, but that's being legally challenged," said Governor Rick Snyder.  "So, the real question is, as legal challenges or issues come up with that, is that going to be available because if it's not, then it does leave very few options for communities because bankruptcy could be left for some of them and that's something I think would be best avoided if we can help it."

In a letter to Snyder before the election, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts threatened to step down if Proposal 1 failed.

"Today, unfortunately, we must help Roy Roberts move out of his office.  He said that he wasn't going to stay, so I just came down to the public school office to say, hey, if you need a hand, I'd be happy to help you," Williams said.

But Roberts, who has reduced the district's deficit from $372 million to $74 million and is overseeing two consecutive balanced budgets, is backtracking today saying he will stay at his post.

Roberts was not available to go on camera, but he did issue a statement that reads, in part, "My fear is that in the absence of PA 4 or other similar legislation, this same type of progress will be virtually impossible.  I will, however, continue to operate under the existing statue and Judge Murphy's order that I am responsible for the finances and the BOE (Board of Education) is responsible for academics."

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