The transition begins for Governor-elect Snyder

Nov 4, 2010

The confetti and balloons have be swept up, and the yard signs are slowly being removed.

At 12:01 pm on January 1st, 2011, Michigan will have a new governor.

Governor-elect Snyder is assembling the people that will move into positions of power in Lansing.

Snyder has chosen three former Engler administration officials to head up the transition team:

  1. Doug Rothwell will chair the transition team. He's Engler's former CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
  2. Sharon Rothwell, Doug Rothwell's spouse and Engler's former chief of staff, will serve as vice-chair of the transition team.
  3. Mark Murray, Engler's former budget director and state treasurer, will also serve as vice-chair of the transition team.

The AP reports that Snyder will face some big challenges:

A budget deficit of at least $1.4 billion, a Legislature with scores of new faces and an economy that's not recovering fast enough to restore more than a fraction of the nearly 860,000 jobs lost since state employment peaked in June 2000.

The Detroit News reported on some of the reaction to Snyder's choices for his transition team. Jill Alper is a Democratic strategist in Washington D.C.:

"Time will tell. It makes sense he would rely on Republicans with experience, [but] from an ideological standpoint, he says he wants to be a consensus builder. We'll have to see if he does that or if he adopts an Engler mindset — draconian, that was the word people used in the day."

Bob LaBrant is senior vice president and general counsel with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. He applauded the transition team picks as an important first move with wide implications for Snyder's administration, "I think these three appointments are superlative," he said. "I doubt if these three individuals are going to leave the private sector (to join Snyder's cabinet), but they will assist the governor-elect in making the choices of people who will play significant roles."

The AP quoted Snyder talking about the philosophy of his style of governing:

"It's about customer-service government. Business and government are different — there's no profit motive in government. But there is something that business has that needs to government that in my view has been missing far too long, and that's showing a positive return on investment. ... That's the focus we're going to bring to Lansing, and that's long overdue."