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Thu April 5, 2012
Snyder on Detroit consent agreement: "Let's go"
Governor Snyder says he’s happy Detroit leaders have signed off on a “historic” consent agreement, but now it’s time to get moving on the restructuring plan the deal calls for.
But at a Thursday roundtable with reporters, Snyder said Detroit’s fiscal problems have been building for decades, and won’t be solved overnight.
“Now that we’ve gotten to an agreement, my answer is, “Let’s go,” Snyder said. “Let’s go on better services for citizens, financial stability, and growing Detroit.”
One of the biggest tasks ahead: to try and negotiate new agreements with city unions.
They already agreed to give up historic concessions, only to have the state block final approval. Snyder says those agreements don’t go far enough.
Union leaders now say they’re in no mood to bargain. And they may have little recourse at this point but to strike.
And there are still big questions about whether legal challenges could derail the new agreement.
The state’s biggest concern is the possibility that Public Act 4, the state’s emergency manager law, could be suspended within a month.
But Snyder mostly dodged questions about the impact that could have.
“I hope we can continue on this path, because I thought it was good, thoughtful legislation to begin with, and that we’re working in good faith to really make sure our communities are successful,” Snyder said.
“Because really,” Snyder went on, returning to a point that he repeated throughout the meeting, “It’s all about partnering. The state’s role isn’t to run any community or any school. It’s really to be a supportive partner.”
Snyder says the state isn’t yet, or possibly ever, willing to promise Detroit any cash to help it restructure.
But he says the state is ready to step in with resources to help mitigate the impact of inevitable cuts, particularly in the area of public safety.