Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said the recent bond rating upgrade for the City of Pontiac is evidence of how effective the Emergency Manager Law is. Fitch Ratings gave Pontiac a B-minus rating with a stable outlook last week, up from a triple-C rating with a negative outlook.
“That’s why Oakland County supports the Emergency Manager Law: among other things, Pontiac’s success is a credit positive for the city,” Patterson said. “Pontiac is not out of the woods yet, but has made substantial progress because of the strength of the Emergency Manager laws and the leadership of Emergency Financial Manager Lou Schimmel.”
The new law, Public Act 436 of 2012, takes effect March 27. It will allow emergency managers some of the powers they had under P.A. 4 including to change or cancel collective bargaining agreements, while offering local units of government more control and options for handling fiscal crises.
Oakland County continues to work with Pontiac and Schimmel as the city restructures its finances. Oakland County now provides a multitude of services to city residents which includes the Sheriff’s Office, Animal Control Division, the Clerk/Register of Deeds, Community Development Block Grants through Economic Development & Community Affairs, and Information Technology support at 50th District Court, among others. The Water Resources Commissioner’s Office also crafted a deal last April where the county issued $55 million in bonds on behalf of the city so that it could pay off debt and cover other budgetary items in exchange for turning Pontiac’s wastewater treatment plant into a public corporation.
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