By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK — It’s been a long 18-months for some, having Emergency Manager Joyce Parker controlling city business and stripping elected officials of their control, but those officials are ready to take back the reins.
Parker came to the city in March 2013 and as of September, according to Gov. Rick Snyder’s representatives, the City Council can ask for her removal after 18 months. Sept. 27 could be her last day as EM.
Yet, the council won’t get their full power back once she is removed as EM. Afterwards, Parker will serve on a three-person review team overseeing all the council’s decisions. It is unknown how long this arrangement could last, according to the governor’s staff.
Per Parker’s request on behalf of Snyder, Mayor William Matakas was asked to select two residents to also serve on the advisory committee. He selected long-time residents Fred Frank and Keith Prevost.
Both reportedly have been asked by the governor to fill out applications for the positions, Matakas said.
Councilman Dennis Hayes took issue with the mayor’s authority to make the appointments and sent an email to Matakas asking him to clarify. The mayor didn’t respond to the email and the issue was raised at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Matakas said responding would have violated the Open Meeting Act because it would have led to a discussion.
“You didn’t ask me either how I came to do it or why I came to do it,” Matakas said Tuesday. “He simply stated I didn’t have the right to do it.”
Hayes disputed that Friday.
“I asked him where he found the authority,” Hayes said. “I didn’t say he didn’t have the authority.”
Hayes also took issue with the mayor’s claim of a potential Open Meetings Act violation. He said the act concerns things leading to a decision.
“How is asking for clarification a violation?” Hayes asked. “There was no decision to be made. The decision (the appointments) had already been made.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at [email protected])