Michigan governor: Detroit had ‘no other viable options’ than bankruptcy

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Sunday said he is upbeat on the future of Detroit, which declared the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history last week.

Snyder said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the bankruptcy was needed to bring better services to the city’s residents. Nearly half of the city’s street lights don’t work and police take nearly an hour to respond to distress calls, he said.

“There were no other viable options,” Snyder said. “Let’s stand up and deal with this tragic situation.”

Bondholders and former city workers stand to lose the most in the coming bankruptcy process. 

“The retirees--I empathize with them,” Snyder said. 

But Snyder stressed that the bankruptcy is “an opportunity to stabilize Detroit.”

Snyder said that the successful federal bailout of the auto industry has helped make the future of the Motor City bright.

“The last major obstacle is city government,” he said.  Snyder said there needs to be more “accountability” in local government to prevent the kind of mismanagement that led to the bankruptcy. 

Snyder also said he also does not expect a federal bailout on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

"I've said before the state cannot bail out the city of Detroit. And part of the context I would say to you in is it's not about just putting more money in a situation; it's about better services to citizens. Again, it's about accountable government," he said.

Snyder did praise the award of $100 million in federal funds to remove blighted buildings over the next 30 days. 

“This isn’t about writing checks,” Snyder added on NBC.

This story was updated at 1:24 p.m.