How much will Ypsi’s historic Freighthouse sell for at auction, and who will our Emergency Financial Manager be?

mich-central-ypsi-freighthouse-with-farmers-market-signLast night, I decided to do something I don’t usually do. Instead of just getting online and bitching about the changes that are taking place under the leadership of our current Governor, I decided to spend some time considering how, if I were so inclined, I might be able to cash in on some of these things that are happening. Two things came immediately to mind. First, it occurred to me that I might be able to pick up our beloved Freighthouse for a song at auction, once financial martial law is declared in Ypsi, and our appointed Emergency Financial Manager begins liquidating every asset the City owns. (I might also buy the bust of Demetrius Ypsilanti to use as an ashtray.) And, second, it occurred to me that I might want to apply for the position of Emergency Financial Manager. As I understand it, not only will they wield god-like powers, but they can make more than $177,000 a year, thanks to the the defeat of a Democratic amendment that would have made that the salary cap.

I can’t find a source that verifies it, but I heard today that somewhere between 60 and 80 Emergency Financial Managers had already been hired. They’re apparently undergoing training now in secret location. From what I’ve heard, though, this number could double. I mentioned to my friend Phil from Pontiac that I was thinking about submitting my resume, and received the following in response.

Don’t send Rick your resume. Remember, he promised transparency and accountability. I’m sure that the job posting will be at your local Michigan Works office and that the standard Michigan state government hiring procedures will be followed.

I nearly died laughing.

The laughter stopped, however, when it dawned on me that the Emergency Financial Manager assigned to Ypsi could very well be our old friend Andrew Shirvell.

Regardless of what crony puppet we get assigned to us, whether it’s the dim-witted son of a Republican donor, or an otherwise unemployable political operative, you can bet you that the first order of business, after voiding all employee contracts and firing our democratically elected officials, will be to privatize everything that can be privatized, and liquidate everything that can be liquidated. And I wasn’t kidding about buying the Freighthouse. Unless there’s some way to protect it that hasn’t occurred to me, I’m almost certain that it’ll be sold off at the same time that our local utilities are handed over to the Koch brothers. It’s a shame too… from what I hear they were planning to reopen in the Spring.

So, I’m thinking that we should have some kind of betting pool around the Freighthouse, when it will be sold, and how much it’ll go for. Anyone care to take a guess?

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  1. Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Forget the Freight House, I want to buy the water tower! I wonder if it could be converted to condos?

  2. Carole
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t the freighthouse have a 99 year lease with the state after they took grant money a couple years ago? Could the state legally sell it?

  3. Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I hope you’re right, Carole. That would be great… Of course, I suppose there would still be the risk that the Governor could void the lease? Once they start terminating contracts, who knows where things will end?

    As for the water tower, I hope the Koch brothers get it. I’d love for the most phallic building in the country to have the word “Koch” (pronounced Cock) spelled out across its base.

  4. Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    My friend David just pointed me toward an article by Larry Gabriel in the Metro Times. In it, Gabriel says that there are currently 175 EFMs in training. Here’s a clip:

    ….In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder hasn’t taken on unions head-on, but many are wary of his Emergency Financial Managers legislation, which would grant new wide-ranging powers to EFMs, including the ability to dissolve local governments and school districts, and to void contracts. The law has been passed and awaits the nerd governor’s signature. The state has begun training 175 EFMs in anticipation of Snyder’s draconian budget measures taking effect. As municipalities and school systems buckle under the state cutbacks, he’ll be able to deploy EFMs across the state. Anti-EFM activists held protests in several Michigan cities on Tuesday…

  5. Pastor Blastor
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Some sage words from Steve Pierce, left here, last time the EFM was looming:

    The only way that Ypsilanti will go into EFM is for it to be a failure of leadership, a failure by our elected officials … if Ypsilanti goes into an EFM, it is solely the fault of our elected officials. It means they were not responsible in creating a balanced budget and making sure they follow state law … Now don’t let the council scare you by threatening the EFM as justification for cutting police services or implementing an income tax … We need to fix our own problems and the first step is to quit spending money like it is growing on trees.

    Still true!

  6. FAQ
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what we know:

    The rich don’t want to pay more taxes. Neither do the middle class, retirees, corporations big or small, or the poor. Increased taxes on any of these groups, we’re told, will hurt the economy.

    Maybe the first question we should be willing to ask and answer isn’t “who should pay more” but “how much more am I willing to pay?” It’s not that the first question shouldn’t be addressed, but if we answer the second first, it might keep us honest.

    If the answer is “nothing” or “not much,” we well might need an EFM for a reality check.

  7. dragon
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Some sage words from Steve Pierce, left here, last time STD’s were looming:

    Who needs rest stops, when for two free beers, you can get a religious nut preaching fiscal austerity to give you a blow job under the table in the tap room.

    Still true!

  8. EOS
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Hasn’t the city already sold most of its assets to non-profit organizations for $1 apiece? It appears that they have been planning for EFM’s for quite some time.

  9. Knox
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    My prediction is that, now that over a million dollars in grant money has gone into fixing it up, that it will sell for $100,000 to the same old Republican who owns depot building across the tracks from it.

  10. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I know I’m not supposed to ask this question, but can anyone tell me why we are working so hard to put a cafe in the Freight House? Don’t we have like five of those in the city, with one half a block away in Depot Town? I can see a community kitchen of some sort to be used for events, but are we really going to operate a cafe, theoretically for commuters, on a day-to-day basis?

    Also, I’m a little more concerned about our EFM disbanding the police department and contracting with the county. I think we’ve all seen what a disaster that is in the township.

  11. Edward
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Please start referring to the County as Libertarian Paradise.

    As for the coffee shop idea, there used to be a very nice one in the old freighthouse. My guess is that the people in charge think that it will help cover the overhead, if people buy coffee and magazines before getting on their trains.

  12. T Timmons
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I want our EFM to be a robot, like RoboCop, but with an LCD screen for a head, showing the face of a Republican party donor in Texas, as he sits by his pool. It would walk up and down Michigan Ave pinching girls’ asses and tasering people who look unemployed.

  13. Chairman Meow
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    You’ve just described Steve Pierce.

  14. M Fleiss
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    You know, you might not be so far off, Meow. Wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events, if Steve Pierce, after being defeated for Mayor, turned around and became our local dictator. Damn.

  15. Jsam
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Kwame will be available by then, I’m guessing.

  16. dp in ypsi
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink


  17. Karen
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Independents would never allow this to happen.

  18. Brainless
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the foresight of our chicken ordinance, we can gather feathers locally for the tarring and feathering of our EFM. Anybody got a local source for tar?

  19. Chairman Meow
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Linda French’s lungs?

  20. Jsam
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Tarred and Feathered for us OLD time Ypsilantians is scary stuff:
    Anyone else remember this?

    – Principal R. Wiley Brownlee Tarred and Feathered by the Klan. A civil-rights activist and former principal of Willow Run High School in Michigan, Brownlee, in his time at Willow Run High, had taken a conciliatory approach to mounting racial tensions at the school, an approach that eventually cost him his job. His insistence on fair treatment for minority students had also propelled him into national headlines when, in 1971, he was assaulted at gunpoint, then tarred and feathered, by members of the Michigan Ku Klux Klan following a Willow Run school-board meeting.

    8″ x 10″ photo, date-stamped 4-3-71 on the reverse, and shows Brownlee in the aftermath of his tar & feathering.

    Here is the picture if you want to see it. Bad times.

  21. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    That’s right Ypsi, keep gnawing on our own instead of knowing the enemy.

  22. Tommy
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Ouch! Meow – that is the funniest thing I have read all year on this blog!

  23. Linda French
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Sorry…I don’t tar in this here lungs. Meowwww

  24. Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Sorry your lung got called out on my site, Linda.

    And thanks for the link, JSAM. It’s hard to believe that happened here in ’71.

  25. Jsam
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Linda, hey, I challenge anyone else to make a burger like you do!!!

  26. Ron Jeremy
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Linda French from Michigan?

  27. Jsam
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Mark, Those were bad times in Ypsi. Mr Brownlee was a good person who tried to make a diference. Admirable.

  28. dragon
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Ms. French seems to have no problem slinking into the ooze with us commoners when she feels the need to refudiate the scurrilous charges of smoking, yet remains suspiciously quiet on the 87′ crabs epidemic. ?

  29. Bill French
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    With the looming budget crisis and the uncertainty of future monies from the state, the City Manager should provide our community with chronological history of management issues and financial commitments that the City has made to the Freighthouse. The sooner the better.

    The Friends of the Freighthouse, who have donated countless hours of their time for the restoration to this important community asset, should not be held accountable for this huge project. This project is owned by the City Manager and our Council. They alone have made the decisions that have allowed the project to develop where it is today.

    Bill French

  30. Jamison Dinora
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I hope Koch Industries buys and turns it into a Child Empowerment Zone (aka brothel).

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