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Dillon meets with community leaders about possible Detroit EFM

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State Treasurer Andy Dillon meet with Detroit community leaders on Friday.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) State Treasurer Andy Dillon meet with Detroit community leaders on Friday. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

State Treasurer Andy Dillon met privately with some 20 Detroit leaders on Friday to talk about the potential appointment of an emergency financial manager.

The official line was that the meeting was to help community leaders understand how the governor will approach the possible appointment, but there are some who left feeling as if not much had actually been said.

"Right now the governor's in a position where he needs to build some trust with the community," said Rev. Bertram Marks.

That may be why Governor Snyder and Dillon have been meeting with community leaders to get them on board with appointing an emergency financial manager.

Dillon hosted the latest meeting on Friday afternoon.  Marks, the attorney for the Council of Baptist Pastors, was invited and sent a representative to the meeting, which he said didn't deliver what he and so many others are looking for.

"The general consensus was there was not a tremendous amount of information," Marks said.

Especially when it comes to who the governor plans to name Detroit's emergency financial manager, a decision the state insists has not been made, but insiders have said the governor knows exactly who he is going to appoint.

"Building that trust relationship absolutely requires information sharing," said Marks.

Rev. Charles Williams of the National Action Network was also invited to the meeting, but he said no thanks.

"Democracy is not for sale.  It's not for sale in Detroit.  It's not for sale in Pontiac [or] Flint.  It's worked for hundreds of years, and I don't understand why it doesn't work now," he said.

At the end of the day, Marks said the question of whether an EFM is right for Detroit boils down to one thing and that is improving the quality of life in Detroit.

"The governor has made this decision, and therefore the governor owns this decision," said Marks.  "The only way that we can measure whether this was a good or bad decision is to look at the results."

Sources have said that state officials also talked about the possibility that a number of jobs could be created under an emergency financial manager, and community leaders could have an opportunity to help fill those jobs, which has led critics to say the state is dangling carrots to get Detroiters on board.

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