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April 6, 2014

Orr's Oakland and Macomb Cramdown

"The solution that Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr favors is best for all players: an authority that would give the suburbs a say in the way the system is managed, and give the city much-needed cash for relinquishing its ownership." What we'd lose by privatizing Detroit's water system, Detroit Free Press, April 6, 2014

Throw much of the blame onto Kevyn Orr and Rick Snyder who Mr. Orr reports to. We are getting very close to Orr's tenure as EM ending and this issue, and the DIA, are still hanging out in the wind. Orr should have been cooperating more with the counties to get this issue resolved.

What Oakland and Macomb county needs to address is whether they really want to be "owners" of a system that presently appears to be under water. No pun intended. Orr from the start acted like he had the out counties over a barrel and he would be able to extort money from them. It did not work.

The question is what is the DWSD really worth given all of the deferred maintenance and mismanagement. I have been a big supporter of Mr. Orr in the way he has handled bankruptcy but there is no excuse for not addressing this problem more aggressively earlier in the process and working with Oakland and Macomb county.

The Free Press is correct that it is in the best interest of southeast Michigan to resolve this issue and Kevin Orr needs to man up and treat Oakland and Macomb counties as equals. From where I am sitting it is Kevyn Orr that bares the blame for it not being resolved.
"The suburbs want control, but not responsibility for the system’s debt, the back-logged maintenance or the delinquencies of non-paying customers in poor communities. They’re also crying wolf over the prospect of higher water rates — an inevitability given the history of disinvestment in the system’s infrastructure." What we'd lose by privatizing Detroit's water system, Detroit Free Press, April 6, 2014
The issue is not whether the suburbs are willing to take responsibility for the system's debt and back-logged maintenance. The question is at what price is fair. Up until now Oakland and Macomb counties were customers of DWSD. I don't think the prior customers of GM will agree to pay some of the debt that will be owed due to the present ignition scandal the company is facing.

The person most responsible for this issue not being resolved is Kevyn Orr for trying to impose his own "cramdown" policy and it did not work. The Governor needs to get directly involved. More

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