Rick Snyder on Whether Michigan Is Ungovernable: ‘Absolutely Not’

‘We’ve made tremendous progress statewide’

RATTNER: “Governor, it’s Steven Rattner. Speaking of Detroit, you have another big problem on your hands, maybe not a health problem but also great importance which is the Detroit school system which is on the verge of collapse — way over crowded classes, teachers who don’t want to teach, no money and a question whether the state has done enough to help Detroit in general, but specifically in this case whether the state has done enough to help the Detroit school system?”
SNYDER: “Yes, Steve, I appreciate the question. I think you’re very familiar with the great work we’ve done in the city of Detroit with the city government. The next one on topic was Detroit education, across the board. So, last year I proposed the plan and I’m still working on getting implemented to essentially make a $700 million investment to deal with the historic debt of the Detroit public schools, also giving resources to make a transition and do some investments. And the issue there is as I need legislative support and I’ve asked the legislature to do that and I want to get that done before we have court intervention on the situation.”
SCARBOROUGH: “I want to ask you just generally because we’re talking about what happened in Flint, the decision that was made to save money because Michigan is so strapped. We talked about what’s happening in Detroit right now — again, a money problem. We’ve seen what’s happened in Detroit over the past 30 years. It’s a city that has trouble even keeping its streetlights on. Is Detroit — is the state of Michigan, at this point, not to sound like John Lindsay, but is it an ungovernable state?”
SNYDER: “Absolutely not. Actually we’ve made tremendous progress statewide. And Detroit is one of the one of the successes stories in the country. I’m just citing old facts. And I invite you to visit Detroit and come see it, those streetlights [indecipherable]. The blight is going down, trash is being picked up, public safety is improving. And you know, I’ve got good partnership working with the mayor of Detroit. This is about the public sector doing a lot of good things in Detroit. And unfortunately we have this terrible tragedy because of some career civil service experts causing trouble there. We’re going [indecipherable] that, we’re going get that behind us and deal with that in the long term. Because people have been harmed. Children have been harmed that could last for years and years. I’m not going to treat this as a short-term crisis. This is a commitment to take care of this as long I’m in office and put procedures in place that take care of these [indecipherable] as long as they need help, which can be for a decades.”

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