Benton Harbor Mayor reacts to New Emergency Financial Manager - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Benton Harbor Mayor reacts to New Emergency Financial Manager

Posted:

A board within the Michigan Department of Treasury has voted to replace Benton Harbor's current Emergency Financial Manager with a new one.  They said it's time for change.  And Benton Harbor's Mayor, James Hightower agrees the city needs a change.

The relationship between Benton Harbor and they city's Emergency Financial Manager, Joe Harris, hasn't been smooth.  Just over a month ago residents voiced their anger over financial decisions he's made.  "We don't need to just stop here with special assessment, let's start counting our money. Are we making money on a 4 hundred million dollar golf course?" said resident Sam Hudson.

Mayor James Hightower says the relationship hasn't been great between Harris and local government either.  "The council and Mr. Harris really never gelled," said Hightower.

Friday it was announced that Harris will be replaced as Benton Harbor's Emergency Financial Manager.  Tony Saunders II will step into the position in February.  Michigan Deputy Treasurer Roger Fraser said in a press release, "while much has been done in an effort to return fiscal stability to Benton Harbor, the city remains in a financial emergency and this is an appropriate time to transition in a new direction."  Hightower welcomes the change.  "I think this is a positive, we have an opportunity to really make some headway.  Like hitting the reset button and starting fresh."

Hightower said Harris did do a number of good things  But his lack of communication with government and residents was a real issue.  So what do local residents think of the change?
Well we visited several locations around the city Friday asking that question.  Only two men wanted to approach the subject with us.  They said it doesn't matter to them who it is, the city still needs an Emergency Financial Manager.  "Happy to hear that he'll be replaced with another manager.  I think Benton Harbor needs it," said Michael Gardner.  And Brian Ziebart said, "until it can get on it's feet financially they're gonna need somebody from the outside looking in."

We also reached out to Joe Harris Friday.  He did not want to make a statement but did tell us that no one discussed this with him.  He plans to say more at a press conference on Wednesday January 16th.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • news alert

    Make a statement with the Summer 2014 hair and makeup trends

    Make a statement with the Summer 2014 hair and makeup trends

    Makeup at the Summer 2014 fashion shows wasn't what you'd normally expect. Usually models sport bold eye-shadows, thick black eyeliner, and bronzed sun-kissed skin. This year... makeup and hair made a statement on the runway with what they're calling the "Raw Beauty" look. The summer look is a subtle one - milky golds, ivories, and pale hues for eye shadows. It's almost that look of not even looking like you have makeup on. When it comes to hair, the look is called "effortless elegance", whe...More >>
    Makeup at the Summer 2014 fashion shows wasn't what you'd normally expect. Usually models sport bold eye-shadows, thick black eyeliner, and bronzed sun-kissed skin. This year... makeup and hair made a statement on the runway with what they're calling the "Raw Beauty" look. The summer look is a subtle one - milky golds, ivories, and pale hues for eye shadows. It's almost that look of not even looking like you have makeup on. When it comes to hair, the look is called "effortless elegance", whe...More >>
  • Boy scout finds marijuana plants in city park

    Boy scout finds marijuana plants in city park

    Will Kercher was working on removing invasive plants in Abshire Park Monday morningwhen he came across a different kind of "invasive" species...marijuana plants. Kercher, seventeen, was taking before pictures ofa wooded area in thepark. He was documenting the area before he helped clear it of bush honeysuckle when he came across four potted marijuana plants. He took a picture and then went to tellAaron Sawatsy-Kingsley, Goshen's City Forester.More >>
    Will Kercher was working on removing invasive plants in Abshire Park Monday morningwhen he came across a different kind of "invasive" species...marijuana plants. Kercher, seventeen, was taking before pictures ofa wooded area in thepark. He was documenting the area before he helped clear it of bush honeysuckle when he came across four potted marijuana plants. He took a picture and then went to tellAaron Sawatsy-Kingsley, Goshen's City Forester. More >>
  • Mayor Buttigieg talks about life on deployment in Afghanistan

    Mayor Buttigieg talks about life on deployment in Afghanistan

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg in AfghanistanMayor Pete Buttigieg in Afghanistan
    South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has about two months left on his deployment in Afghanistan. For the first time since he left in February, FOX28 had a chance to interview the mayor via Skype. We had a lot to talk about, from the power outage that had downtown in the dark, to a somewhat tumultuous time with the common council.More >>
    South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has about two months left on his deployment in Afghanistan. For the first time since he left in February, FOX28 had a chance to interview the mayor via Skype. We had a lot to talk about, from the power outage that had downtown in the dark, to a somewhat tumultuous time with the common council.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.