Posted on March 15, 2013

Snyder, Orr Promise Quick Action, Results in Detroit

Tom Greenwood and Darren A. Nichols, The Detroit News, March 15, 2013

One day after naming an emergency financial manager for Detroit, Gov. Rick Snyder and his appointee, Kevyn Orr, told The Detroit News they plan to work quickly to turn around the troubled city.

The pair appeared before the News’ editorial board Friday morning, with Orr saying he wants to score some quick wins with initiatives such as public safety and lighting that already are in the pipeline. Orr said he’s working toward improving city services before moving toward longer-range challenges, such as the city’s $14.9 billion in pension and health care liabilities.

“We have to maintain city services and grow them,” Orr said. “It’s going to be initial work that’s done, some things we get to immediately.”

Snyder added there are a number of public safety improvements planned, including initiatives for Detroit’s lockup and processing of prisoners. {snip}


Orr added he’s going to take a data-driven approach to how he operates in City Hall, but he’s going to be sensitive to how his actions are perceived in Detroit. He noted he was born in a segregated hospital and blacks in his hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. once were not allowed to go to a public park.

“You have to be aware of the real-world consequences that cause … and how (it) makes people feel,” Orr said. “This is going to be a data-driven operation with an understanding of real-world consequences. I’m a restructuring professional, but I’m sensitive to that because this is different than just doing business.”


Snyder called it “all hands on deck” to help the city’s problems and was pleased Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is on board. He hopes the Detroit City Council will join the effort.


Orr, who resigned from his law firm earlier this week, said he’s pleased to have them at his disposal, pointing to the work during the auto crisis and current work in Jefferson County, Ala. So far, it’s the largest municipal bankruptcy filed in the country.


Orr, 54, a University of Michigan law school graduate, helped lead Chrysler through its 2009 bankruptcy. He specializes in corporate restructuring, bankruptcy, litigation, appeals and legal recruiting and diversity. {snip}