Municipal Finance Expert Louis Schimmel Joins Mackinac Center

“Lou’s arrival could not be more fortuitous”

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael D. LaFaive, Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative
Phone: (989) 631-0900

MIDLAND — The Mackinac Center for Public Policy today announced that Louis H. Schimmel Jr. has joined its staff as director of municipal finance. In that capacity, Schimmel will work with distressed communities and provide fiscal analysis for other Mackinac Center projects as needed.

"Lou brings more than 40 years of municipal financial expertise to the public policy table," said Michael D. LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Center. "His knowledge of local government spending, taxation and debt will prove invaluable as we expand our research in municipal finance."

Schimmel served as court-appointed receiver for the city of Ecorse, where he helped eliminate a $6 million deficit. He has also worked as an emergency financial manager in the city of Hamtramck, where he eliminated a $2.9 million deficit. In both cases, Schimmel relied on a combination of privatization and labor negotiations to strengthen city finances.

"Lou’s arrival at the Center could not be more fortuitous," said Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Mackinac Center. "Michigan’s one-state recession has severely impacted many municipalities. Lou can show local officials how to reorganize their spending priorities to keep their books balanced without demanding more money from taxpayers."

Schimmel recently reviewed the city of Sylvan Lake’s finances, the kind of analysis he will likely provide to other municipalities in his position at the Center. Schimmel believes Sylvan Lake is fundamentally well-run, but he still recommends steps to improve the city’s financial position. The report is available on the Center’s Web site at