AP NEWS

Governor to have majority on Michigan worker oversight board

December 20, 2016

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Beginning Jan. 1, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan will have appointed the majority of members on the board that oversees state government employees for the first time.

Thomas “Mac” Wardrop, an independent appointee from former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, will leave the state Civil Service Commission when his term expires at the year’s end. Democrat Robert Swanson will be the only other Granholm appointee on the four-member board.

Two other Snyder appointees are already in place, and the replacement for Wardrop will give the governor a 3-1 edge on the board that approves contracts, pay rates and other policies affecting the state government’s nearly 48,000 employees.

State employees have a mixed relationship with the Republican governor as they’ve received pay increases most years of his tenure, but have opposed many of his policies, the Lansing State Journal (http://on.lsj.com/2h4HIyQ ) reported.

Spokesman Ari Adler said the governor has not yet announced Wardrop’s replacement and there is no timeline of when it will be announced.

The commission was preserved in the state constitution to create a barrier between politicians and state employees. It was set up with spaced eight-year terms so governors would not have complete control of the commission while in office. According to the constitution no more than two appointees can be from the same political party. The commission acts independent of the governor’s office, even though the governor appoints members.

Adler noted that “the governor will appoint the right person for the job and will rely on the entire commission to be thorough and thoughtful in any decisions it makes.”

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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