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A different approach

New EFM starts Friday, hopes to have positive relationship with commission

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 5:00 am

BENTON HARBOR - Benton Harbor's new emergency financial manager, Tony Saunders II, who officially begins work in the city Friday, said he has goals for the city but wants to hear from residents before he forms the specifics of a plan.

"I'm trying to get a better understanding of concerns of citizens here," Saunders said by phone on Wednesday while driving back to his home in Detroit from Benton Harbor. As part of that mission, he will hold a town hall-style meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at 200 Paw Paw Ave.

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  • 05111966 posted at 10:14 pm on Tue, Feb 5, 2013.

    05111966 Posts: 8

    Honestly, at first I thought, he might be too young. But, my own son is 27, and he's doing very well for himself, and Mr. Saunders business record speaks for itself. If that young man can come in here and apply those skills to helping Benton Harbor's finances, hats off to him. And, I hope he does well. This IS NOT Joseph L. Harris, and I won't judge Tony Saunders based on Harris' dictatorship. He sounds like he wants to work with the Commission, and more important than that, he wants input from the citizens!! To me, that's a step in the right direction, but it takes more than words to win us over. I always say, ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS. Lets wait and see what Mr. Saunders DOES. Best of luck & many prayers to ALL working in the best intrest of the City and the PEOPLE.

  • BH Citizen posted at 6:19 pm on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    BH Citizen Posts: 20

    I can see a problem already forming; meeting with everyone he can reach. You can't listen to a thousand ideas, then try to make everyone happy. You need to come in, take charge, and do what's right for the city, and not try to make everyone happy. It just doesn't work that way.
    He certainly doesn't need to get input from those who have run our city into the dump; the commissioners. Let them know that you will listen, but you are the one who will make the final decisions. They've already proven time & time again that they are incapable of doing the right thing.
    But as I say, I can see the storm over the horizon, and my gut tells me its gonna be back to usual for us. Going nowhere fast, and the elected officials leading the way.

  • 1mike posted at 7:15 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    1mike Posts: 417

    The first thing to do is get to know the history from the citizens and people of the area not the comission who always has someone picked out to blame for their failings. He sounds smart enough to pick the truth from the BS. I don't give him long before they go head to head and by summer they will be treating him worse than Harris. Keep in touch with Joe he'll surley give you a few laughs

  • 1onefinalfour posted at 1:46 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    1onefinalfour Posts: 23

    Mr. Saunders..it would be wise of you to check out the coverage by the Herald Palladium concerning the circus like meetings over the years at the city commission meetings...its not a pleasant history..and a young man like yourself is in for a rude shock...Lord Have Mercy.....

  • Gizmodog posted at 5:31 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Gizmodog Posts: 17

    Mr. Saunders should extend his outreach into the community beyond the "usual suspects". If he does so he may learn how to do a better job than Harris. Regarding the staff, he should dump Debbie Popp, if she hasn't already left.