Why more cities will crumble unless Michigan changes

There is a very insightful article released today by Bridge Magazine that really gets at the heart our failed municipal finance system. This piece written by Ron French and Mike Wilkinson points out many sober facts that left unchanged will be Michigan’s undoing. The cuts we’ve experienced are real and so are the impacts on our communities. They report that “In one decade, Michigan cities lost 2,300 police officers. That’s like laying off every Michigan State Police trooper. Twice. Ann Arbor lost 23 percent of its police force; Saginaw, 41 percent; Troy, 48 percent. And it only happened here. No other Midwestern state witnessed anything close to the massive police layoffs that occurred in Michigan between 2005 and 2014.”

They even coined a new phrase they call Flint Syndrome. As they explain, “…Flint Syndrome, where systemic, long-term disinvestment has imperiled the safety and frayed the quality of life for residents of many Michigan cities. And the grim choices cities must make are likely going to get worse, unless the state makes fundamental changes to the way cities are funded…”

Sadly, they are dead on in their assessment. I would encourage you to check out the entire article.