Snyder has list of candidates, but says Detroit EM not certain - KMSP-TV

Snyder has list of candidates, but says Detroit EM not certain

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Governor Rick Snyder  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Governor Rick Snyder (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

"I never want to get into emergency managers if I can help it, but the city government's finances need to get stabilized, they need to be resolved, and we need to move forward," Governor Rick Snyder told a crowd of business leaders at the MGM Grand during a luncheon and conversation with members of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Afterwards I had a conversation of my own with the governor about an emergency manager for Detroit.

"Is it true that you've offered the position to somebody and you're waiting to hear back?" I asked him.

"No.  I haven't made an offer to anyone.  What I had said, and I'm going to stay consistent with that, is we're talking to people.  And that shouldn't even be read as to say we're going to have one for sure.  That's simply being prepared as one of the options to say if we go down that path, then I'll have people available to help work on that," he responded.

The governor would not say whether former Washington D.C. mayor Anthony Williams has already turned down the job and he wouldn't name names, but he did say he has a short list of emergency manager candidates.

"If this happens what power would the mayor or the city council have at all?" I asked Snyder.

"Again, that's part of the discussion that would take place if we moved along those lines about how to hopefully collaborate and work together on things," he answered.

The governor says he wants the state to partner with the city to improve services and create long term financial stability for Detroit, which faces $12 billion in debt and pension liabilities.  He's waiting on a report from a financial review team due by Saturday, but the date is not set in stone.

The mayor's office would not comment, but Mayor Bing has said no other team could come in and do a better job than he's doing right now.  We're told the mayor is focused on restructuring the city and he'll have plenty to say about that during his State of the City address on Wednesday.

"The current ways of doing things aren't the solution.  There are better ways," Snyder said during the event.

The governor pointed to the Belle Isle deal, which the city council recently rejected.  He says the state budgeted millions to fix up the island.

While he won't come out and say it, all signs point to an emergency manager or bankruptcy.  The governor is expected to take action by the end of March before the new emergency manager law takes effect.

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