Outgoing EFM bids adieu to Benton Harbor Wednesday - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Outgoing EFM bids adieu to Benton Harbor Wednesday


Emergency Financial Manager Joe Harris is leaving Benton Harbor. That's the decision that was handed down by the Michigan Department of Treasury last week.

But he does have a few words to say about the city's financial woes before he heads off. On Wednesday, Harris will hold a media conference at 3 p.m. at Benton Harbor City Hall.

He will touch on a number of issues including:

  • The June 30, 2012 audit report
  • Year-to-date financial condition
  • Effect of the city's special assessment
  • The Whirlpool contribution
  • Furlough days
  • Commission chambers
  • Emergency loan application
  • Status of the Benton Harbor Emergency Financial Manager

On Friday Mayor James Hightower told FOX 28 News he believes Harris has done some good things for Benton Harbor. But he wants to see more done and a better working relationship between the Emergency Financial Manager and the people of Benton Harbor.

"The council and Mr. Harris really never gelled," Hightower said.

Taking over for Harris will be Tony Saunders. According to the Department of Treasury he has spent the last nine months in Highland Park, a city just north of Detroit. During that time he converted a projected $1.3 million dollar General Fund operating deficit into a General Fund surplus of around $850-thousand dollars. Saunders will get to work on February 1.

"I think this is a positive," said Hightower. "We have an opportunity to really make some headway, like hitting the reset button and starting fresh."

FOX 28 will bring you the latest on Benton Harbor's financial situation on air and online right here on FOX28.com

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