Michigan Gov. Snyder responds to criticism over Detroit plan

Mar 15, 2012

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder held a roundtable discussion with members of the media today to address the controversy building around a proposed consent agreement he and state treasurer Andy Dillon put forward earlier this week.

Part of the plan seeks to help Detroit with its troubled finances by appointing a 9-member financial review board that would oversee decisions by city leaders.

Mayor Bing and many members of city council have rejected the idea, saying it strips them of the decision-making power given to them by the electorate. They're working on an alternative plan.

MRPN's Rick Pluta reports Governor Snyder is "anxious to see a counter-offer from the city council and Mayor Dave Bing."

But he stands by his plan to give ultimate financial authority to a review team that could veto actions by the mayor and the council.

“Because that would give more confidence to the citizens, people working for the city, vendors to the city, debt holders to the city, and people looking to invest in Detroit to know they’ve got this group of financial experts helping the mayor and city council in a constructive way,” said Snyder.

The governor says the deadline for adopting a plan is March 26.

After the deadline, the Governor could use recommendations from a state-appointed financial review team to appoint an emergency manager to run the city.

Snyder rejected the idea that a financial review board would take power away from city leaders saying under the plan the mayor and city council get to appoint members to the advisory board.

Snyder also said Detroit should not expect additional financial assistance in the near term, even if the consent agreement is put in place.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Snyder emphasized that much of his proposed new spending on public safety initiatives would be directed to Detroit. But he came close to ruling out the idea of boosting the city's state revenue sharing (which city officials insist was cut during the administration of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm), providing short-term assistance to help the city pay its bills or any other financial incentives.

"I would not have any expectation of any short-term cash assistance," he said, "We need long-term solutions."