- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager has named Muskegon Heights city manager Natasha Henderson to the same job in Flint.

Darnell Earley introduced Henderson at a City Hall reception Tuesday afternoon.

The Flint Journal says the other finalists were ex-East Point, Georgia, manager Ellis Mitchell; ex-Hot Springs, Arkansas, manager Scott Randall; and ex-Rye, New York, manager Paul Shew.

The Snyder administration put Earley in charge of Flint’s finances last year, and he reports improvements but a continued emergency situation.

The city of about 100,000 went under state emergency control in December 2011 because of persistent municipal budget deficits. The birthplace of General Motors has suffered in recent decades as auto industry employment has shrunk because of stronger international competition and automation of vehicle production.

“The city should expect the best,” Earley said at the reception. “Unquestionably, she is the right person at the right time - now and in the future.”

Henderson, 37, starts work Feb. 23, The Flint Journal reported.

At the reception, she said she can see glimpses of what the city can become in the future, including a “beautiful” downtown.

“There are so many opportunities,” she said. “I’m definitely up for the challenge. … When I walked in City Hall here, I felt like I wanted to be here.”

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