Of course, as I have noted before it is a sad commentary when an emergency city manager has to be appointed for an ailing city. It is even sadder that it came to this with the City of Detroit. Once a giant among cities. Known as arsenal of Democracy, the city that built everything from jeeps, to B-24 bombers, tanks cannon shells, even machine guns for WWII. The great city on the hill, brought to her knees after what Governor Snyder said was culmination on 50 years of mis-management.
However, there is the bright side. There is now the realization that this once shining city is finally on the road to recovery. That there is a chance that this great metropolis can be restored to her once grand glory. That the fiscal crisis she is in can be repaired and that this city can one day, in the not too distant future be restored to what she once was.
The Governor took quick decisive action when he decided that Detroit Government, namely The Detroit City Council as well as the Mayor had enough time to show progress in their quest to turn this fiscal mess around. They could not. Detroit fell deeper and deeper into its fiscal debt ridden hole with no sign of impending recovery in sight. Finally the recommendation from a committee to review the fiscal mess of Detroit, concurred that the appointment of an emergency manager was not only justified, but necessary if Detroit was going to have any chance of recovery.
Thus the Governor decided this week to appoint Kevyn Orr, a Washington D.C. Bankruptcy attorney with the Cleveland firm of Jones and Day to take the position of Detroit’s Emergency Financial Manager. Mr. Day has a great history with the firm. At his appearance before the media with Governor Rick Snyder and Mayor David Bing at his side Mr. Orr appeared well dressed. As one correspondent said, “The man was immaculate, dressed to the nine”. He carried with him an aire of confidence. He was not bragging, but instead he put forth his best foot. He clarafied during his remarks that he hoped he could show results of his activity for Detroit within 18 months.
He called this the Olympics of all assignments. That it was. Because if Mr. Orr pulls this off, and saves the ailing City of Detroit, from its fiscal free-fall, then he will be known nation wide as the go to man, if one wants to resolve, and turn around a cities fiscal decline. Kevyn Orr can have anything he wants.
But there are those standing in his way. Mayor David Bing is not one of them though. He chose to work with Mr. orr rather than against him. The Detroit City Council went into closed session shortly after the appointment and decided against any legal action. Mr. Orrs power are far-reaching. He can cut salaries, remove perks, and if he has to, remove the powers of the City Council as well as make life overwhelming for the Mayor.
The City Council might be thinking, “Look, the outside groups are going to challange the legality of this matter, so why should we jump in risking political annihilation. Various groups are attempting legal action in an effort to keep Orr from snooping through city documents that might lead to even more involved in scamming and other such corruptions. whats the matter boys, afraid that the judge might come up with some things you don’t public?
Many are saying; “You know, lets give this guy a chance, maybe, just maybe he might pull this off”.
And I agree, Kevyn Orr seems to be an intelligent man out to accomplish the impossible. I think we not owe him a debt of gratitude, but our total support. Let’s give him his 18 months. Let’s see what direction he will take the city.
Yes it is a sad day for Detroit, but I also smell a new future in the air.
Time will tell……Time will tell.