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Governor's Safe Speech Sidesteps Detroit's Financial Tsunami

By Vickie Thomas

Governor Rick Snyder's nearly one hour long speech may be remembered for not what he said but what he failed to discuss.

With the state's largest city set to run out of cash in a mere matter of months, many observers had hoped the governor would have taken the opportunity to address Detroiters directly about whether or not an emergency manager will be sent in to right the sinking financial ship.

Snyder did talk in generalities about Public Act 4 which is one of the most controversial issues on his gubernatorial plate.  Bill Ballenger, editor of the newsletter "Inside Michigan Politics," said it was a missed opportunity.  "I think it would have been a great moment for the governor if he could look right in the eyes of the audience…and said Detroit, I feel your pain.  You are suffering…we want to help you.  We're not trying to take over.  We're not trying to club you down with big-foot.  We want to get you back on your feet."

Detroit Free Press Associate Editor Ron Dzwonkowski agrees with Ballenger.  "The governor missed an opportunity to speak directly to the people of Detroit … He did it in such general terms I think if people in Detroit were watching, it was lost on them," he said.

In a morning-after interview heard live on WWJ Newsradio 950, the Governor reiterated his claim that he does not want to see an emergency manager in Motown.  But some observers believe Detroit's fate is already sealed.

Hear WWJ's interview with Gov. Snyder

Union activist Robert Davis turned up at city hall this week as the state's financial review team began its meetings with Mayor Dave Bing and city department head.

"I think ultimately they're going to use every bit and piece of information that they receive from the city of Detroit against them in order for them to appoint an emergency manager," said Davis who also sets on the Highland Park School Board.  A state review team looked at that school district's books and declared a financial emergency.  As a result, the governor has announced that an emergency manager will take over.

Snyder may discuss the financial crisis in Detroit when he answers questions during a live, on-line town hall meeting Thursday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., to discussion important issues facing the state. To join the discussion, visit this link.

- More on the "State of the State" -

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