Benton Harbor Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris will address the future of the city's finances on Monday afternoon. Harris says he will not call a special election on the millage renewals that failed last week, saying it would likely fail again. He tells WSJM News in an email that emergency financial managers in Michigan do not have the power to reinstate millages after voters send them down to defeat. The vote last Tuesday essentially stripped 50% of the city's revenue starting next month, and instantly eliminated roughly 20% of the city's budget. City Commissioner Dennis Knowles told WSJM News he campaigned against the renewals, saying Harris and the Michigan Department of Treasury failed to properly tell residents what the money would be used for. Harris says he believes a majority of commissioners advised their constituents to oppose the millages.
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