Detroit Faces State Takeover Of Finances07:58
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Gov. Rick Snyder declares a financial emergency during a broadcast in Detroit, Friday, March 1, 2013. (Paul Sancya/AP)
Gov. Rick Snyder declares a financial emergency during a broadcast in Detroit, Friday, March 1, 2013. (Paul Sancya/AP)

On Friday, Mar. 1, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced he believes there is a financial emergency in Detroit.

Citing the city's long term debt of about $14 billion, he said "Chronic budget troubles have taken a significant toll on everyday life for citizens in the city. Detroiters deserve to feel safe when they walk down the street, to have their street lights on, to have the bus show up to take them to work."

Mayor Dave Bing and the Detroit City Council have 10 days to call for an appeal hearing.  If they are unsuccessful, Gov. Snyder will announce the name of the emergency financial manager on March 12.

Two political commentators have suggested Mitt Romney for emergency manager - Washington Post opinion writer Charles Lane floated the idea on "Fox News Sunday," and Dave Weigel suggested it in a piece he wrote for Slate.

Many names have been rumored to be on the list of potential appointees -  even some fictional ones.

The Nain Rouge, French for "red dwarf" or "red gnome," is a mythical creature said to haunt Detroit and occasionally attack people.

For the past few years, residents have organized a parade to chase the Nain out of the city. At last year's parade, the Nain announced that he'd like to be considered for Emergency Manager.

Here & Now reached him, or at least his parade organizers, who say he's not interested in the job anymore:

"Look, I’m the harbinger of doom, the living embodiment of what brought the city of Detroit to its knees, and not even I want that job.  I might have done it a year ago, but I can’t have my reputation tied to that shipwreck now."

A man dressed as Detroit's mythical "little red devil," the Nain Rouge, announces his candidacy for Detroit emergency manager at the "Marche Du Nain Rouge" festivities last year in Detroit. (Julie Phenis/Facebook)
A man dressed as Detroit's mythical "little red devil," the Nain Rouge, announces his candidacy for Detroit emergency manager at the "Marche Du Nain Rouge" festivities last year in Detroit. (Julie Phenis/Facebook)

Guest:

  • Jerome Vaughn, news director at WDET, Detroit's National Public Radio news station.

This segment aired on March 5, 2013.

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