NYU’s Marron Institute is working with Detroit’s Office of the Emergency Manager, evaluating options for the city to improve fiscal stability and enhance public-service efficiency in the post-bankruptcy environment.
NYU Law School Professor Clayton Gillette assembled a team of students from the Law School (Daniel Barron, JD ‘14, Hampton Foushée, JD ‘14, Zachary Kolodin, JD ‘14, David Leapheart, JD ‘14, Joshua Lobert, JD ‘15, Andrew Walker, JD ‘15, and Amy Wolfe, JD ‘15) to investigate city charters—both from cities that have faced financial difficulties and from cities with a track record of strong fiscal performance. Their work aims to better understand the relationships between municipal organization and fiscal performance in light of Detroit’s challenges. Among other topics, the team examined institutions such as strong mayor systems and independent chief financial officers. They also looked into the use of financial controls boards in cities hit by similar financial distress.
Students from NYU Stern’s MBA program (Michael Caruana, MBA ’14, and Shyamali Rajavin, MBA ‘14) researched city management practices that might inform efforts to improve public services in Detroit. The students studied ways that cities around the world have attracted, retained, and developed high performing employees. They also researched CitiStat, a program first developed in Baltimore, which measures performance and uses the data to improve the performance of city services.
Detroit’s city officials are focused on the city’s recovery, working to ensure that the residents of Detroit receive the best possible service from their city government. By drawing on NYU’s schools of law and business, the Marron Institute is working to help the city understand and evaluate its policy options as it moves forward.
Also, see Professor Gillette’s related work, "Dictatorships for Democracy: Takeovers of Financially Failed Cities", forthcoming in the Columbia Law Review. (Tile image courtesy of Thomas Hawk.)