The Craig Fahle Show

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr From the Mackinac Policy Conference

Friday, May 30, 2014

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Craig speaks with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr at the Mackinac Policy Conference. Craig and Detroit’s EM discuss ongoing legal proceedings surrounding the bankruptcy, working with Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit’s progress despite economic and financial hardships.

There are court hearings happening almost every day in Detroit, and the city is at a critical stage with some significant milestones coming up. One of these notable milestones is the plan confirmation hearing. Orr also discusses the town hall meetings he has been holding with other members of his staff. “I didn't want to be a fear monger,” says Orr, he came into this position wanting to get things done and he believes that is what he’s accomplished so far.

Regarding the mistake on ballots recently sent out to some Detroit pensioners, Orr says he wants to move forward. While Orr appreciates that Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes takes his duties seriously, he does not believe that the mistake will set back the time table.

Orr is reluctant to discuss details of ongoing meetings with “one of the biggest water managers in the country.” However, he does tell Craig that there are talks of an operation and management contract, which has been carried out successfully in many other areas around the country.

“We’re at a point now where we can’t wait around for people to find their way,” he says.

Orr also weighs in on restructuring efforts from the Police Commission. “The Chief has done a wonderful job,” and Orr says he is also happy with the relationship between Chief James Craig and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “I want to give him the chance to restructure and then there will be a transition,” Orr says of Detroit officials. With crime and carjacking numbers on the decline, Orr says the city is heading in the right direction.

However there are still some red flags. Orr tells Craig the bond insurers are “throwing all kinds of legal action,” so he’s not taking anything for granted just yet. He also says the creditors are running the tables, which is what he expects them to do. Yet, the help from Judge Gerald Rosen and his mediators has been unprecedented and tremendously helpful in dealing with all of the proceedings.

“If you told me a year ago that we could have some of the agreements with counter-parties and restructuring efforts and everything else, I would have been skeptical,” says Orr.

Link to the full interview at nextchapterdetroit.com.

--Annamarie Sysling