LANSING (WWJ) – Noticeably absent from Gov. Rich Snyder’s annual State of the State address Wednesday night: any significant mention of Detroit.
The next day, some are questioning why Snyder failed to acknowledge Detroit Mayor Dave Bing in any substantial way or recognize the Motor City’s ongoing fiscal struggle, even as Detroit is under review for a possible state takeover.
State Senator Burt Johnson of Wayne County said he was surprised.
“To have no mention of Detroit, and with all that is happening in Detroit and with the looming questions about the future of the city of Detroit from a financial standpoint, I thought it was glaring that he (Bing) wasn’t mentioned,” Johnson told WWJ Newsradio 950.
Bill Ballenger of “Inside Michigan Politics” gave Snyder’s remarks a B – grade. He said what stood out the most was what was not covered.
“If you were from Detroit you might have asked, ‘Is there something missing here?’ Like the elephant in the room, I mean, what about the financial status of the city of Detroit,” Ballenger said. “What about all the negotiations going on over whether there’s going to be a financial manager?”
Talking to WWJ Thursday morning, Snyder said this speech was about the state at large and not mentioning Detroit wasn’t meant to be offensive. He said he discuss Detroit a bit when he talked about strengthening neighborhoods in general.
“And with the Detroit issues, I think that people are well aware of the Detroit issues — and this was the State of the State, so I wanted to make sure we had an approach that dealt with the citizens all across the state of Michigan,” said Snyder. “So, I was happy to have the mayor there, it was great to see him, and I appreciate all the hard work they’re doing right now on trying to improve the city.”
Gov. Snyder did touch on making a major commitment to public safety in four cities: Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw: He also spent a lot of time talking about how much work our roads need. Snyder wants to boost vehicle license fees and tax motor fuels at the wholesale level to raise billions of dollars for repairing Michigan’s ailing roads and bridges.
(Read more and listen to Snyder’s complete address, here).