Gov. Snyder declares financial emergency in Detroit - New York News

Gov. Snyder declares financial emergency in Detroit, paves way for EM

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder during a press conference Friday in Detroit. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder during a press conference Friday in Detroit.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a financial emergency in Detroit, paving the path for an emergency manager unless city officials can change his mind over the next 10 days.

Snyder made the announcement Friday. He says his decision on whether to appoint an emergency manager will come after a March 12 hearing, a date given to Mayor Dave Bing's office. (Click the video player to watch Snyder's speech)

Snyder said he already has a candidate in mind for the emergency manager position, but declined Friday to released details about that person.

The move was all but guaranteed after a review team reported to Snyder on Feb. 19 that Detroit was in a financial emergency and needed the state's help to emerge from it. A review team first looked into Detroit's books in December 2011, but stopped short of declaring a financial emergency.

The second team began to pore over the city's financial records this past December.

Detroit faces a $327 million budget deficit, more than $14 billion in long-term debt and persistent cash flow issues.

FOX 2 political analyst says it was important for Snyder to give city officials their 10-day appeal right under Michigan. "This administration is very sensitive about due process, giving the city a chance to respond before he pulls that trigger," says Skubick.

Transcript of the Snyder's speech:

I appreciate everyone coming together to have this discussion today. I look at today as both a sad day, a day that I wish would never have happened in the history of the city, but also a day of optimism and promise. And before I get into the specifics, I think it's important that we all step back and set the stage as to where we've been and where we are, but also where we need to go.

If you think about Detroit, Detroit was the most successful city in the United States, for many years. We put the country on wheels, we put the world on wheels. We were the arsenal of democracy. And in 1950 Detroit had 1.8 million people, at one point it was recognized as the most prosperous city in the entire United States. And you step back and look at that and where we are today. If you go across the country and talk to people, there's probably no city that's more financially challenged in the entire United States.

If you looked at the quality of services, the citizens, it's ranked among the worst. So we went from the top to the bottom, over the last 50 or 60 years. It was a long process. And one of the things I would say, during this process, even over the last few years, we should waste no time on blame, or fighting or discussing how we got there. The point is, this is where we're at today. The question is it's time to say we should stop going downhill. It is time to say we need to start moving upward with the city of Detroit.

There have been many good people that have had many plans, many attempts to turn this around. They haven't worked. The way I view it, today is the day to call all hands on deck. To say, there's been too much fighting, too much blame, not enough resources, not enough people working together to say let's resolve these issues. Because the key answer I believe all of us want to get to is growing the city of Detroit.

In order to bring all of those resources to bare, I believe it's appropriate to declare the city of Detroit in financial emergency, based on the review team report. But again, I don't view it as simply looking at the numbers because if you look at the financial numbers, it's not hard to justify that conclusion. There's a short term cash crisis. There's long term liabilities that need to get resolved. There needs to be a structure for long term success. But again, it's not just about numbers, this is about people. There are 700,000 people in the city of Detroit that are suffering, that we need to turn around.

But I would also say is I've talked about the negative things, we need to remember there are a lot of great, positive things going on in Detroit. And the long term answer to this solution is not to dwell on the negative. We need to use a phrase I live by 'Re-allow us positive action'. We need no blame, no credit. We need to simply solve this problem and head towards a bright, exciting Detroit.

And what does Detroit of the future look like to me? And again this is something the citizens of Detroit should define, not me. But what does it look like? We're already seeing exciting things, in midtown, downtown, the river front, exciting revitalization. But the only long term solution to Detroit is to say we can also say those exciting things are coming to the neighborhoods of Detroit, to the people living in those neighborhoods. We need a Detroit where eventually people are moving into the neighborhoods of Detroit because they want to raise their family there. They see real estate that has increasing property value. They see good schools, they see safe schools. We need a Detroit for the people living in Detroit that can say my kids can get a job, so they can buy a good house in Detroit and raise my grand kids in Detroit, and be able to have them walk the school, and to have that environment for success.

If you think about it over the last few decades, the current system has not been working. We have not stopped the decline. It is time to say this is the time for us not to argue or to blame, but to come together as Detroit, Michigan, not Detroit versus Michigan. And bring all our resources to bare, to say let's just solve the problem. Let's solve the financial issues, let's solve the service issues, and let's grow Detroit. Now the process.

With this determination today, there's a 10-day appeals period that will go through Monday, March 11 where the mayor and city council can appeal. They have the right, I appreciate it. I'll wait to see what they want to do. If they decide to appeal, they'll be a hearing on Tuesday, March 12. Following that I need to make a re-determination to continue this path or to change paths. If I continue on this path, I go to the emergency loan board, who will then select an emergency manager. So, that's the process.

But beyond the process, beyond the numbers, come back to relentless, positive action. Haven't we had enough of people fighting among themselves or blaming someone or watching declining services, and watching people suffer? Now is the time to rally together to say there's a new, better way of doing things and let's build Detroit and do it as a team. And be proud and show the rest of the world that Detroit was the best. We know how to do it. We lost that formula, but we can gain it back and do it again. It won't be exactly the same, but it can be that great place where kids can grow up, they can go see their grandparents and have a wonderful life. So, thank you.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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