Detroit pastors discuss need for emergency financial manager and the role race plays in a selection

DETROIT (WXYZ) - While many people may think a person's race shouldn't matter, Reverend Kenneth James Flowers says when it comes to any selection of an emergency financial manager for the city of Detroit, it will.

Race will affect how many citizens will accept an EFM, he says.

Rev. Flowers, of Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, believes an emergency financial manager is needed in the cash-strapped city.

"I think the time has come for us as residents of Detroit to see what can be done to make the situation better," he said.

When asked whether the race of an EFM will matter to the people of Detroit, Flowers said, "If a white individual comes in to become that EM, I think it would then create a major upheaval because then we'll have the impression that 'Ole Massa' has come in to takeover the plantation."

Pastor Edward Branch of New Hope Baptist Church told 7 Action News Friday that he believes Detroit does not need an emergency financial manager.

"I think it's probably a move that shouldn't happen," he said.

Pastor Branch said that any good ideas to help the city should go through elected officials who are already in place.

"I'm just not convinced that an emergency manager is really going to be able to do all that much," said Branch.

"Is this a magic formula?" Branch asked. He said he felt that other communities with emergency managers still have yet to see success.

On the other hand, Rev. Flowers said he recognized that some in the community feel an emergency financial manager circumvents their rights as voters, but he said, "I think currently our structure that we have with city government is not working."

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