By Kurt Brauer, Partner
The Mackinac Policy Conference ended today on a positive note with an affirmation for the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) and what amounts to a homework assignment from Gov. Snyder.
His message -- and the message of the conference -- is clear: We need to focus on the road ahead, using the lessons from the past to guide good decision-making.
Education is critical, with the Governor reminding those in attendance that education really starts at or before birth and is a lifetime endeavor. His P-20 program addresses education through age 20, which is critical for so an appropriately trained workforce, from welders to PhDs.
The Governor reminded businesses that this is their state, too, and that they need to really roll up their sleeves, pitch in and take ownership of the state's future. An overwhelming majority of the attendees showed their support for Gov. Snyder and the progress he is making in forming a grand public-private partnership, connecting business and government to share best practices and move the ball forward.
The Governor also committed to ensuring that NITC would become a reality, and made clear that he would not allow it to be derailed by a single special-interest group airing misleading information. The gloves are clearly off on the NITC issue. Progress will prevail!
Finally, the Governor reiterated his support for the City of Detroit, and his mission to stabilize its finances. Despite an attempt by Detroit's top lawyer to derail the consent agreement before the ink had time to dry, the Governor remains committed to honoring the state's obligations under the agreement.
Though he did not articulate it directly, the message was clear: Detroit, the time for rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic is over. More than 10 million residents in the state are depending on Detroit's success.
In his customary pithy manner, New York Times
columnist and author Thomas Friedman followed the Governor, providing a little comic relief. He said that when he wrote The Earth is Flat
in 2004, "skype" would have been a typo. He also delivered a sobering dose of reality when he said the planet is truly super-connected so our children will need to excel, invent their own jobs and be ever diligent in keeping America ahead of the curve.
Everybody understands that things in our state and country will not change overnight. However, the Governor's infectious Relentless Positive Action and a great roadmap are a superb on-ramp to our road to a successful future!
Other 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference Updates: