An order signed this week from Ingrham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemanrie Aquilina restores the authority of Flint’s elected mayor and city council. It also invalidates all decisions regarding Flint made by Michael Brown, the emergency manager Gov. Rick Snyder (R) appointed in lieu of the democratically elected mayor and city council, Snyder and the financial review team.
The emergency manager had been installed on October 5, which means that nearly four months of actions by Brown are now void. It also means that the state’s determination that Flint is in a state of “financial emergency” is no longer valid.
A spokesperson from the state treasury department indicated the state planned to appeal the decision.
In the meantime, the ruling shows the power of an independent judiciary. The dangerous expansion of emergency manager rule in Michigan poses a significant threat to our democracy but, at least in Flint, accountability has been returned to the people.
Photo from Flint Broadside via flickr.