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Benton Harbor, MI is 10,235 population town. 85.5% of the residents are African-American. The per capita income is among the lowest in the state: $10,235.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently castrated the city government of the struggling town, using his controversial “Emergency Financial Managers” law. The law, as Raw Story previously reported, allows Snyder to “take over municipalities that don’t pass a financial stress test.”
On Tuesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow made the case that Snyder, Whirlpool (global headquarters in Benton Harbor), Harbor Shores (a developer) and assorted political cronies are using the newly enacted law to grab prime beachfront property deeded to the city’s residents in 1917 in order to develop it into a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and luxury “signature” homes.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is reportedly following the lead of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) by preparing a plan that would allow him to possibly take over municipalities that don't pass a financial stress test.
"[T]he Walker legislation would empower the governor to insert a financial manager of his choosing into local government with the ability to cancel union contracts, push aside duly elected local government officials and school board members and take control of Wisconsin cities and towns whenever he sees fit to do so," according to Forbes.
The story first came to public attention yesterday during an interview with Madison, Wisconsin attorney and activist, Ed Garvey, on Wisconsin Public Radio.
I spoke with Mr. Garvey today to gain insight into his information, which led me to Mr. Nate Timm – a Wisconsin based political organizer who is a leader in the effort to recall eight GOP Wisconsin State Senators who voted in favor of Gov. Walker’s anti-collective bargaining legislation.
While Timm was unwilling to reveal his source, he was able to confirm that he had received the information regarding Walker’s plans from a highly placed GOP source, very much in a position to know what the Governor has in the works.
In 2006 the city agreed to lease 22 acres at the center of the park to developers for 105 years. The city was given contaminated former industrial parcels in trade for the park’s lakeside dunes.
Originally posted by Oaktree
reply to post by SirMike
I refer to that whole area as the "armpit of Chicago".
Chicago southside, Gary, East Chicago, Michigan City, and Benton Harbor.
Nothing but gambling, strip joints, and abandoned factories and mills.
I used to commute from Wisconsin to Paw Paw/Kalamazoo and that was the most depressing drive.
New Buffalo was nice, though.
This is shameless. Not only do some of these people have deeds that proclaim the land is theres, it's been that way for decades. This is not the time to pander to corporate interests. While everyone else is struggling, they're planning to build beach front condos.
Jean Klock Park, with its half mile of Lake Michigan frontage, was donated to Benton Harbor in 1917 by John and Carrie Klock as a memorial to their daughter. In 2006 the city agreed to lease 22 acres at the center of the park to developers for 105 years.