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Rumblings of Shock Doctrine: Long Beach, NY to Declare 'Emergency'

Resolution expected to pass Tuesday would give City Manager power to push austerity

Common Dreams staff

The Associated Press reports that the city of Long Beach, New York is about to declare fiscal emergency.

From the Long Beach Patch:

When people accessed the City of Long Beach’s website to read the City Council agenda that's posted there each Friday before the following Tuesday's meeting, they found that City Manager Jack Schnirman proposes a resolution to formally declare a fiscal emergency that will give him greater authority to control and veto spending.

The extent of the city’s financial crisis has become increasingly more evident, with one recent report showing that nine departments have already exceeded their overtime budgets just six months into the fiscal year for 2011-12, according to Newsday:

Schnirman said:

"We will scrutinize and sign everything by hand. We are not shy about sending things back for more information, more documentation or just plain saying no."

The Long Island Herald reports:

City Manager Jack Schnirman said that if approved, the resolution to declare such a crisis will be the first step toward a “corrective action plan” that will allow him to immediately “implement enhanced budget discipline and budgetary relief to assist to return the city to fiscal stability, while ensuring the continuation of essential services.”

The situation also echoes that of Michigan, where the governor passed the “emergency financial manager law,” and several cities have already been appointed emergency managers.

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