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    State appointed Emergency Financial Manager Fred Leeb took office in Pontiac Monday, only a few weeks after Jennifer Granholm declared Pontiac was in a financial crisis. Leeb is the owner and manager of Nonprofit Management Group LLC and Fred Leeb & Associates LLC.

    The state projects that Pontiac currently has a $12 million project budget deficit. The city insists the deficit is only $7.1 million.

    . Leeb is now in control of the city's $54 million budget and all decisions regarding allocations. Leeb has the ability to negotiate contracts and loans, review payroll (including that of the Mayor and City Council), consolidate departments, create new city positions, and choose to fill or not fill vacant positions.

    One controversial issue that Leeb is expected to address is the cost of policing in Pontiac. Currently the city spends $10.8 million on a police department of 65 officers. This department has been cut drastically since 2004 when they had 170 officers. If the Oakland County Sheriff's Office was to take over patrol of the city, they would be able to provide 84 officers for the same $10.8 million. The U.S. Department of Justice shows the average city of Pontiac's size has 118 officers.

    Leeb is also expected to evaluate the current state and sale of the Pontiac Silverdome.

    Pontiac is not the only city that has been taken over by the state because of financial problems. Flint, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and Three Oaks Village have all had state-appointed financial managers in the past.


    Sources:
    The Oakland Press
    The Detroit News

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