Update: Snyder Transition Team

By: AP
By: AP

DETROIT (AP) -- Michigan's governor-elect Rick Snyder took the first steps on Wednesday toward shaping his administration that begins Jan. 1.
The morning after his decisive win over Democratic Lansing Mayor Virg Bererno, the Republican venture capitalist and former executive of computer maker Gateway Inc. announced the leaders of his transition team, which provides business and political experience to a governor who knows the boardroom but is new to elective office.
Doug Rothwell, who served as former Republican Gov. John Engler's president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and now leads the executive group Business Leaders for Michigan, will serve as the transition team's chair.
Vice chairs are Rothwell's wife Sharon Rothwell, a former Engler chief of staff and a current vice president at building products maker Masco Corp., and Mark Murray, a former state treasurer and budget director who now serves as president of retail chain Meijer Inc.
"They form a great nucleus of Michiganders that have both public experience and private experience -- and a wonderful combination to deliver great results," Snyder said at a news conference in Detroit on Wednesday.
Earlier in the morning, Snyder met with outgoing Gov. Jennifer Granholm to discuss the transition. Snyder thanked Granholm, who couldn't run again because of term limits, for her "graciousness."
He said Granholm has offered help in getting the incoming Snyder administration quickly "up to speed." But he added Granholm, who like Snyder has three children, also shared thoughts about how to deal with the demands of being governor and a parent.
Snyder will face some daunting challenges when he takes office Jan. 1, including a budget deficit of at least $1.4 billion, a Legislature with scores of new faces and an economy that's not recovering fast enough to restore more than a fraction of the nearly 860,000 jobs lost since state employment peaked in June 2000.
Michigan's jobless rate is 13 percent, the nation's second-highest, and many voters are wrestling with foreclosures.
Snyder has offered few specific remedies to those challenges but said solving them requires rethinking how to run government and the way people interact with it.
"It's about customer-service government," Snyder said Wednesday. "Business and government are different -- there's no profit motive in government. But there is something that business has that needs to government that in my view has been missing far too long, and that's showing a positive return on investment. ... That's the focus we're going to bring to Lansing, and that's long overdue."


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