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Who will take on job of fixing Detroit's finances?

It appears the appointment of an emergency manager to take over Detroit's failing finances is all but a done deal. But who will Gov. Rick Snyder name to the difficult, thankless job?

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Gov. Rick Snyder declares a financial emergency during a broadcast in Detroit Friday. The determination could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager over the city's finances.

Paul Sancya/AP

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It appears the appointment of an emergency manager to take over Detroit's failing finances is all but a done deal. But one question remains: Who will get the difficult, thankless job?

Gov. Rick Snyder is being coy about his selection, saying only the person is "top notch." Michigan's Emergency Loan Board will do the official hiring of the candidate, who will provide state oversight on spending and restructuring.

Whoever is chosen, he or she will not only have to tackle the city's massive deficits and debt but also succeed in pulling Detroit out of a fiscal tailspin so steep that it's had to borrow millions of dollars just to pay its bills and city workers' salaries.

"This will take somebody who has very deep and strong financial expertise and very deep and strong political and personal capabilities," said Timothy Horner, a partner in the Warner Norcross & Judd law firm. Horner, whose firm has been closely following Detroit's fiscal struggles because it represents businesses and creditors, told The Associated Press on Friday that the emergency manager job is "a very difficult assignment."

An appointment is unlikely to occur before Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has a chance to appeal Snyder's determination Friday that the city is in a financial emergency. The 10-day appeal period will be followed by a March 12 hearing. It's then that Snyder can change his mind or reaffirm his position and move forward with an emergency manager appointment.

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