DETROIT (WWJ) - The same day the controversial right-to-work and emergency manager laws take effect in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder headlined the latest installment of “Pancakes and Politics” at the Detroit Athletic Club.
Talking Thursday morning to local business and political leaders and reporters, the governor acknowledged that he’s made some difficult and unpopular decisions — but said he has no regrets.
“When you have change, you’re going to have issues and concerns from people, and that’s why I respect the people [protesting] outside. This is part of democracy — people having a difference of opinion.
“I ran on a fairly bold platform to reinvent Michigan — and fortunately a lot of people supported it. But then when I finally started saying let’s make the change, it was difficult for many,” said Snyder.
“It’s that human nature feature: Everyone likes change until it affects you, and that’s when it becomes more difficult,” he said. “But if we’re really going to do this right, all of us have to make some change. We’re all in this together.”
Snyder said it’s easy to focus on the negatives — but we also need to talk about the good things going on in Michigan.
Snyder cited a just-announced plan by businessman Dan Gilbert to roll out a series of temporary or “pop-up” shops along Woodward Ave.
Asked how he felt about Gilbert’s effort to buy up many of Detroit’s high-rise buildings, Snyder said, “Go, Dan, go!”
Many questions posed to Snyder concerned the work of emergency manager Kevin Orr, on the job in Detroit since Monday.
Snyder said, although he appointed Orr to the position, it’s not on him to promise when citizens can expect to see results.
“I don’t view it as my role to define all his goals and outcomes,” said Snyder. “I view it as Kevyn’s working with the mayor; I belie they have a good relationship. Let them come up with a list of things and come back to me to say to say this is how we could help support them in being successful in accomplishing these goals.”
Snyder did, however, say he expects to see a 2014 budget soon — and on time. “And, as many of you see, there’s lots of numbers flying around now. This is a normal part of the process,” he said. “But hopefully, again, the goal is to get good, solid budget complete within the June time frame.”
As far as his own political future, Snyder would not yet say whether he plans to run for reelection.