Some people like his policies and others hate his policies. Either way, Salinians were happy to have Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder visit the city Monday.
Snyder attended a town hall meeting hosted by State Rep. Mark Ouimet at Liberty School Monday night. An audience of 250 people, including Cub Scouts, teachers, senior citizens and local politicians, appeared to hear the governor and pose questions.
Joe Freeman, facilities specialist for Saline Area Schools, helped coordinate the event. Most of the other groups who planned to use Liberty School for regular Monday night activities decided to cancel, Freeman said.
“There hasn’t been this much buzz in the building since Rob Reiner was here,” said Freeman. Reiner, a Hollywood director, filmed parts of his move, Flipped, at Liberty School.
Heidi McClelland brought her 10-year-old son, Quinn, to see the Governor.
“I want my son to see government in action and to let him know that he can be a part of it,” said McClelland.
Bruce Danby, a retired Ford worker from Pittsfield Township, said he didn’t have any particular questions for the governor.
“You don’t get a chance to see the governor every day in your backyard. I just want to hear what he has to say about how our state is doing,” Danby said.
Donna Pepper attended with her husband and their daughter.
“We really enjoyed it. I thought he was informative and didn't fluff or steer away from questions. I still don't like his approach on the film incentive but I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that one,” Pepper said.
Mary Hess delayed her usual visit to the Saline City Council meeting, which was taking place at the same time, to hear the governor.
“He was informative on the ballot questions,” Hess aid.
Dot Stoddard said it nice to have the opportunity to hear the governor talk about current issues.
The event went off without incident. Organized labor had planned to demonstrate in favor of “Proposal 2,” which seeks to enshrine collective bargaining in the state constitution. There were union members with signs in the parking lot, but the demonstration was called off.
The only protestor was Doug Smith, who accused Gov. Snyder of exporting jobs and defense technology to China.
Prior to the meeting Snyder said he hopes the meetings accomplish a couple things.
“I like to give the citizens, my customers, an update on how the reinvention is going,” Snyder said. “Secondly, the reason I like town halls so much is that I get to hear what’s on everyone’s mind. That allows me to address these issues in a positive, constructive manner.”
Snyder said reaction to his “reinvention” has generally been good.
“I had to do some difficult things, in terms of balancing a budget and asking for change. They’re not easy things to do. But they’re all done in the context of ‘us working together,’ to create a better, stronger foundation for Michigan’s future,” Snyder said. “It’s working now. We’re the comeback state in the country. We need to continue moving forward because our brightest days are ahead of us.”