Detroit: Update On Emergency Manager

I don't consider myself a big fan of Emergency Managers. I try to focus on the problem and to solve it and right now I have not seen a better solution. Some say it is Democracy. The "democracy" that you speak of got the city in the trouble that it presently confronts.

The Governor had to do something. There are 700,000 citizens of the state that he has a fiduciary responsibility to. He gave the city council the opportunity to enter into a consent agreement and they didn't. Mayor Bing seems to be a good, honest guy but he lacked the leadership skills to take the appropriate action. The City Council was busy fighting among themselves, the Mayor and the state.

Snyder had to do something. Yes, he went about overturning the voters wishes in an inappropriate manner. (His initial mistake was to take for granted that the Emergency Manager law, as it was written, would be passed by the voters.) Yes he lined up Orr in the shadows and in my opinion made a mistake giving Orr responsibility of operating the city.

There are positive results from his bungling.

1. The city is facing up to financial problems.
2. Kevyn Orr is an excellent bankruptcy attorney and seems to be making progress towards debt relief.
3. He is now turning over running the city's operations to the new Mayor.

There are some negatives to how the City is presently operating.

1. Orr, the City, is not making a large enough effort to be transparent as possible, recognizing that the process of a bankruptcy does impede the wisdom of providing complete and full disclosure.
2. Someone needs to be in control of expenses other than an attorney/consultant who will be out of here in September 2014. If the cost of the bankruptcy was disclosed on a continuing basis the cost would be reduced.
3. The city needs a voice on the Emergency Loan Board. The Board is responsible for settling disagreements between the EM and City Council on certain issues. Since all Board Members are appointed by the Governor, the likelihood of them voting against the EM is unlikely.

The bottom line is I believe progress is being made but there is room for improvement.


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