Detroit Gets a Manager
Detroit became the largest municipality to file bankruptcy this week, with nearly $19 billion in debt and whole host of problems ranging from staggering unemployment to failing, even absent, basic services.
Kevyn Orr was appointed the city's emergency manager in March, and it was with his recommendation to the governor that the filing was made.
Orr now has the responsibility to walk the city through the painful steps of restructuring its finances.
"We were compelled to file bankruptcy," Orr said defending his decision against court challenges led by city unions who stand to lose a lot.
And though he has promised a six month grace period for those taking in a pension, he warned there are "going to have to be concessions."
"We are going to have a dialogue about what we can do," Orr said.
The Obama administration has been clear that while they will support Detroit as best they can, the city should not expect a bailout.
Orr was clear eyed about prosepects for federal or even state help.
"We’ve operated on the assumption that we will have to cure this problem on our own," Orr said, adding"Hope is not a strategy from my perspective, I have to deal with realities on the ground now...I think Detroit has a responsibility to help itself."
Asked whether Detroit's situation provides a cautionary tale for others: "Delay doesn’t produce positive outcomes, have the political will and wherewithall to deal with them now," Orr said.