More from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on film incentives, MEDC, social media, Detroit
Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his first State of the State address Wednesday in Lansing. The Republican is expected to deliver more details on how he plans to advance his political agenda, including ways to eliminate Michigan's chronic budget deficit.
Snyder told AnnArbor.com in an interview published Sunday that he plans to focus his efforts to cut state employee costs mostly on benefits and that he plans to push for education reform in the first half of the year.
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
AnnArbor.com: You recruited Mike Finney to lead the Michigan Economic Development Corp.. What changes do you think we’ll start to see at MEDC as Mike takes the reins there?
Snyder: Mike’s got such a fabulous track record, and as people in our community know, he’s done such a great job with economic development.
I’m excited to get that leadership up in Lansing, because it’s an opportunity to take a lot of the wonderful things at SPARK - such as the talent networking, some of the more innovative things on how to do business acceleration - all those features that hopefully now we can take statewide.
We’ll still want the regional people to do the work. I want Ann Arbor SPARK to be very successful.
But the MEDC can be a great clearinghouse, a best practice center and a coordinator between the various regions of our state, and we can all learn from one another.
AnnArbor.com: The film credits in particular have been very polarizing. But a recent poll showed people do tend to like them. When Christopher Nolan says he’s going to consider filming The Dark Knight sequel in Detroit, people get excited, and it makes it harder to pull the incentives away. Are you concerned that the film credits are here to stay? You’ve said we should consider changing something there.
Snyder: We will have a dialogue with people in the film industry to be more financially efficient. If it was simply out-of-state people, it would be a different story.
But we have people that have made investments and built studios and done things like that. I want to give them an opportunity to succeed given the capital investments they’ve made.
But I believe there should be opportunities to be more efficient than we are today on how we manage that program.
AnnArbor.com: You’ve always wanted to revitalize Michigan’s culture and encourage people to be positive and entrepreneurial. How do you expect to approach that?
Snyder: By doing things. It’s to continue the communication we’ve done. One thing I’m happy with is we actually helped raise people’s expectations to be more positive through the course of the campaign and the transition.
Now I want to help deliver results to go along with that. The real key is not just what you talk about, but what you do. So I want to keep a good alignment between what we say and what we do.
By hopefully being a good role model in terms of state government overall, we can help get people fired up. This is the time, let’s go. The response has been great so far and we’re just going to stay on the gas. I call it relentless, positive action.
AnnArbor.com: The city of Detroit is obviously such a monumental challenge. Can we see some real change there during your first term? Or is it just too big of a challenge to make changes that quickly?
Snyder: No, we’ll see major changes in the next four years. We need to. And it’s important for the people of the city of Detroit and our entire state.
What I would say - and I always like to remind people - my role as governor is not to run the city of Detroit but to work in a collaborative fashion and be the best partner with Mayor (Dave) Bing and the city of Detroit.
And I think they’ve got a good attitude. It’s more a question of: We’re building a good relationship, how we can jump into this and support him in doing a lot of the things that need to be done to make them successful?
AnnArbor.com: You used social media really well during your campaign. How do you expect to use it during your governorship?
Snyder: We need to ramp that back up. With the transition, we got behind there. We’re going to use social media much like we did in the campaign as a good communications vehicle and hopefully continue to expand it.
It’s an evolving thing. It’s an exciting way to communicate with people, and people really enjoy it. We’re going to get out there and use social media as much as possible once we get through this startup phase.
I want to get the State of the State and the budget out there first, but we can spread that message with some social media stuff.
AnnArbor.com: So you’re saying budget is the priority over Twitter.
Snyder: I would say so yeah. Right now I would clearly go with that one. (laughs)