Detroit Emergency Manager

Politics & Government
12:24 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Orr to meet with creditors next week, but will the negotiations help the city avoid bankruptcy?

Sarah Cwiek/Michigan Radio

Next week Kevyn Orr will be meeting with creditors to start negotiations in attempts to keep the city from going bankrupt.

According to Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press, the negotiations will includes over 150 representatives from the city’s major creditors including national banks who hold the city’s bonds, insurers, union representatives, and pensioners.

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Stateside
4:43 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Where do Kevyn Orr's loyalties lie?

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

An interview with Karen Dumas.

Over these past couple of months, have Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's loyalties been more with the city he's running? Or with the state who hired him?

Detroiter Karen Dumas was the chief of communications for the City of Detroit.

These days, she heads up her own PR/Communications firm, Images & Ideas, and she has been watching what's been happening at City Hall.

Her recent column in Bridge Magazine shows that when it comes to Emergency Manager Orr, Karen Dumas has growing doubts.

She joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
7:26 am
Mon April 29, 2013

In this morning's headlines: GR avoids disaster, marijuana bill, Pelosi says no EM for Detroit

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Grand Rapids flood 3-4 inches away from disaster

"A National Weather Service water expert says Grand Rapids was 3 to 4 inches of rain short of a disastrous breaching of its flood walls when the Grand River rose to record levels after heavy spring rains. The flooding forced the evacuation of an estimated 1,700 people in the Grand Rapids area and began easing after a forecast heavy rain on April 19 failed to materialize," the Associated Press reports.

Proposed legislation would lessen penalties for marijuana possession

"Legislation pending in the Michigan House would lessen penalties for people who are caught with small amounts of marijuana. The measure makes possession of one ounce of marijuana a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor," the Associated Press reports.

Pelosi says Detroit doesn't need an emergency manager

"Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi took a swipe at the appointment of Detroit's emergency manager last night during a speech in Detroit. The House Democratic Leader said there doesn't need to be anyone else 'running the city of Detroit,'" the Associated Press reports.

Economy
2:32 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Businesses step up to help keep Detroit parks open

Belle Isle is one of Detroit's parks that has had financial trouble over the past few years
Mike Russell wikimedia commons

DETROIT (AP) - Donations from businesses and federal grants will allow Detroit to keep open 50 public parks slated for closure this year due to lack of money.

Mayor Dave Bing says Wednesday that the donations include $5 million over five years from auto industry supplier Lear Corp. Other donors include General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Marathon Petroleum and the Kellogg Foundation.

Several businesses, community groups and residents also have adopted parks in order to keep them open.

The parks donations follow a pledge of $8 million from businesses and foundations for 23 EMS units and 100 police cars.

Detroit's finances are under control of a state-appointed emergency manager. The city's budget deficit is about $327 million.

More than 200 city parks were closed between 2008 and 2009.

Politics & Government
7:52 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Now on the sidelines, Detroit City Council still wants look at city contracts

The Detroit City Council wants a clearer view of what emergency manager Kevyn Orr is doing.

Some Council members said Tuesday they want to see all city contracts that Orr approves.

Those contracts are public record. Orr spokesman Bill Nowling says they’re working out “how to post them in an efficient manner,” though there’s no timeline for when that will be up and running.

Councilman Ken Cockrel Jr says that shouldn’t take too long because “it ain’t rocket science.”

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Politics & Government
6:00 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Detroit City Council approves restructuring contract as protesters disrupt meeting

Several people were arrested after protests broke out at a Detroit City Council meeting Tuesday.

Singing, chanting and linking arms, the protesters forced Council President Pugh to recess the meeting for more than an hour.

They were upset that Council was about to take a vote on a restructuring contract with the Jones Day law firm. That’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s former firm.

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Politics & Government
5:57 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Detroit City Council scrutinizes contract with EM's former firm

Kevyn Orr
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit City Council is reviewing a $3 million-plus contract with emergency manager’s Kevyn Orr’s former law firm.

Jones Day would assist the city through its restructuring. Some Council members suggest there are conflicts of interest because Jones Day also represents several Detroit creditors.

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Politics & Government
7:22 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Suit to halt Detroit emergency manager appointment dismissed

Spirit of Detroit (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A lawsuit seeking to block the appointment of Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has been dismissed.

Activist Robert Davis said Monday that the lawsuit became "moot" when a Lansing Circuit Court judge refused last month to hold a hearing before Orr's hiring by the state's Emergency Loan Board.

Davis says both parties stipulated that the suit be dismissed "based on a pending case" before another judge to invalidate Orr's appointment.

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Politics & Government
6:26 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Restructuring plan targets Detroit City Council

Consultants are working on all kinds of plans to re-shape Detroit city departments, and two such plans were previewed at a Detroit Financial Advisory Board meeting Monday.

One is to drastically downsize the Detroit City Council, and make its members part-time, with just one staff member each

Council member Saunteel Jenkins says that would completely change the Council’s role in city government.

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Stateside
6:18 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

The challenges Detroit's emergency manager faces

Flikr

Time now for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

On Dan's mind today is Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, who has been on the job for less than two weeks.

So far Orr has kept salaries intact for the Mayor and City Council and has allowed them to keep meeting.

As Howes talks with business leaders and others, he has been hearing the reviews they have been giving to Orr in these first days.

Recently, he had the opportunity to sit down with someone who knows what kind of challenges Kevyn Orr faces.

Joseph Harris, the former emergency manager in Benton Harbor and Detroit's auditor general for 10 years, has a lot of knowledge when it comes to building bridges and reaching out to business and foundation leaders.

His advice for Orr, "get moving like your hair is on fire."

Today, we get to hear, what advice Harris has given to Orr when it comes to addressing Detroit's financial problems.

To hear more from Daniel Howes, his column is in today's edition of the Detroit News.

To listen to the full audio, click the link above.

Politics & Government
6:34 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Mike Duggan files for Detroit mayor, but says campaign isn't "the biggest challenge"

Mike Duggan meeting voters
Credit via dugganfordetroit.com

The Detroit mayor’s race has been unofficially underway for months.

But former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan was the first to file the paperwork to get his name on the August primary ballot Tuesday.

Candidates need at least 500 petition signatures to get on the ballot.

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Politics & Government
4:07 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Detroit to receive new fleet of emergency vehicles

Detroit will receive 100 new patrol cars as a part of Detroit's Active and Safe Campaign.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Detroit will soon have a new fleet of emergency vehicles.

An order released by emergency manager Kevyn Orr will allow the city to accept corporate donations of vehicles.

Orr determined that this order will "play a vital role in ensuring continuity of essential services and restoring financial stability to the City of Detroit."

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Opinion
8:26 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Commentary: The week that was

Jack Lessenberry's essay "The Week That Was"

This was the week in  which Detroit got an emergency manager and the state got a right-to-work law.  That is to say, the law took effect this week. I’d say that makes for a pretty  newsworthy few days. Some things this week were entirely  predictable.  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton showed up to protest the  Emergency Manager. Crowds of demonstrators appeared at Detroit’s city hall  crowds which swelled when TV cameras showed up.

The first major lawsuit  was filed against the emergency manager law, and the Detroit Tigers sent an  exciting new spring phenom, closer Bruce Rondon, down to the minor  leagues. That story is worth mentioning, by the way, because a  newspaper computer analysis shows that more people read it today than read any  of the stories about the state or city‘s drama.

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Politics & Government
3:16 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Snyder defends right to work, emergency managers at Detroit political breakfast

A protester outside the Panacakes and Politics breakfast with Governor Snyder in Detroit.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder says Detroit and Michigan can’t afford to “look in the rear view mirror” when it comes to tackling problems.

The Governor spoke in Detroit Thursday, just just as two controversial laws he signed take effect.

Speaking at the Detroit Athletic Club’s “Pancakes and Politics” breakfast, Snyder addressed a crowd that included much of Detroit’s business and political elite—including the city’s new emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.

The new state law that gives Orr sweeping powers kicks in today. So does Michigan's right to work law.

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Politics & Government
8:44 am
Wed March 27, 2013

What's going on this morning? Detroit's officials' salaries intact, tainted steroids investigation

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Kevyn Orr leaves salaries for Mayor Bing and City Council intact

The state's new emergency manager law, which goes into effect Thursday, eliminates salaries and benefits for elected municipal officials when an emergency manager is installed.

But as Michigan Radio’s Sarah Hulett reports, an order signed by Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr will leave the salaries of Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council members intact.

"Salaries range from more than $70,000 for council members to close to $160,000 for Mayor Dave Bing."

State Attorney General Bill Schuette calls for a grand jury investigation into meningitis outbreak

Michigan's attorney general is seeking a criminal investigation into the deaths of 17 residents from contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

As Rick Pluta explains,

"The grand jury would have the power to compel witnesses to appear and testify, including people from the four Michigan clinics that administered the injections. And it could ask a Massachusetts court to order employees of the pharmacy that made the drug to cooperate."

Wolf hunt in Michigan may be put on hold

A group opposing the hunting of gray wolves is expected to deliver tens of thousands of petition signatures to the Secretary of State's office.

If enough of the signatures are certified, a statewide vote on the proposed wolf hunt will be placed on the ballot in 2014.

Politics & Government
7:56 am
Wed March 27, 2013

The week in Michigan politics: Affirmative action, meningitis and Detroit EM

Matthileo Flickr

Week in Michigan politics interview for 3/27/13

In this week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss Michigan’s affirmative action case being taken up in the U.S. Supreme Court, how Attorney General Bill Schuette wants an in-depth investigation into the meningitis outbreak, and what Kevyn Orr has done in his first week as emergency manager for Detroit.

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Stateside
4:49 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Kevyn Orr, reporting for duty

Kevyn Orr started work as EFM in Detroit today
State of Michigan

Kevyn Orr referred to his new job as Detroit's emergency manager as an olympic-sized task.

Starting today at 7:30 a.m., he reported for duty at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building for his first day on the job.

So, how'd he do?

Cynthia Canty spoke with Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek who has been following the emergency manager appointment for Detroit.

Listen to the full audio above.

Politics & Government
7:25 am
Mon March 25, 2013

In this morning's news: Detroit EM, parks face cuts, postal workers protest

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Detroit EM begins job today

"A bankruptcy lawyer and turnaround expert tasked with reviving Detroit's beleaguered finances could be greeted by a crowd of protesters when he arrives at work today. Kevyn Orr plans to spend his first day meeting with some city officials who for months fought against creating his job," the Associated Press reports.

National parks face cuts

"Visitors to national parks in Michigan this summer could see limited hours and scaled-back programs because of the automatic reduction in the federal budget. Parks in Michigan are already feeling the pinch of budget cuts affecting the National Park Service," the Associated Press reports.

Postal workers protest over plans to cut Saturday delivery

"Hundreds of postal workers who oppose plans to cut home delivery from six days to five picketed outside U.S. Postal Service offices in Michigan on Sunday. . . The Postal Service has been facing rising deficits. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe last month announced plans to cut Saturday delivery, saying it would save $2 billion a year," the Associated Press reports.


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Politics & Government
2:47 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Jesse Jackson, EM opponents promise "a major mass demonstration" in Detroit

Jesse Jackson

Opponents of Michigan’s emergency manager law are gearing up for a long, hard fight against it.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson joined Congressman John Conyers and others in Detroit Friday to outline some of their plans.

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Stateside
4:26 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Comparing Detroit's rescue to the auto bailouts

Kate Sumbler Flickr

It’s been a week since Governor Snyder announced Kevyn Orr as Detroit’s emergency manager.

Orr, begins his new job on Monday.

Today, Business Columnist at the Detroit News Danel Howes wrote a column saying Detroit's situation is reminiscent of General Motors circa 2008.

He argues that what it really takes is an outsider - someone who isn’t inside of the financial problem - to fix things.

That’s what happened with the auto bankruptcy as well.

That creates a problem, particularly for Orr. There's a certain level of distrust among Detroiters who think Orr “isn’t one of us” - that he can’t really understand “our” problems.

What of the very strong cry that bringing in this unelected outside manager effectively strips Detroit citizens of their right to elect their leader?

Howes wrote in today’s column:

"Detroit's culture of denial, dysfunction and entitlement, as obvious in the city's slide as it was in the auto bankruptcies, is a primary reason change here eventually is imposed from the outside."

We’ve seen the auto companies come back from the fiscal edge.

And much like what happened with the auto industry, he argues that over time those associated with the past failures begin to be sidelined and new leadership begins to emerge.

This is the narrative that Howes believes we’ll see from Detroit in due time.

To hear our full interview with Howes, click the link above.

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