Snyder scales back constituent relations for transition

    Rick Snyder | Susan J. Demas

    Gov. Rick Snyder’s constituent relations team is scaling back certain features it offered during the transition to Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer, but the office is still open, according to his spokesman.

    Snyder’s website informed people that his Constituent Services Division would close by Nov. 15 and remain shuttered until Whitmer’s team takes over. But the website is inaccurate.

    It just hasn’t been changed yet, according to Ari Adler, communications director for Snyder.

    “The Constituent Services Office is not closed,” Adler said. “As part of the transition process, things are changing, such as the website form that previously existed being turned off. Unfortunately, the wording on the website is inaccurate and we’re working to correct that as soon as possible.”

    From Snyder’s website, taken Dec. 4, 2018

    Adler said people with concerns can still reach out to his staff at 517-335-7858, his email address ([email protected]) or by snail mail.

    “We will continue to accept constituent inquiries for as long as possible as the end of the administration approaches,” Adler said.

    That hasn’t stopped criticism on social media, however.

    It’s common for gubernatorial administrations to gear down during the transition period, when staffers are preparing to leave by the time the new governor takes over in January.

    Liz Boyd

    Democratic former Gov. Jennifer Granholm drastically scaled back constituent services by Dec. 15, 2011, according to Liz Boyd, a former Granholm communications director and current transition manager for Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson.

    Republican former Gov. John Engler also scaled back constituent services during the end of the transition, said John Truscott, Engler’s former spokesman, now CEO of the Truscott Rossman public relations firm.

    Truscott said he recalls the office remained open until the end, however.

    “I’m not aware that anything stops,” he said.

    Michael Gerstein
    Michael Gerstein covers the governor’s office, criminal justice and the environment. Before that, he wrote about state government and politics for the Detroit News, the Associated Press and MIRS News and won a Society of Professional Journalism award for open government reporting. He studied philosophy at Michigan State University, where he wrote for both The State News and Capital News Service. He began his journalism career freelancing for The Sturgis Journal, his hometown paper.

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