DETROIT (WWJ) – Gov. Rick Snyder acknowledged that his decision to appoint an emergency financial manager for Detroit is bittersweet.
“In many respects it’s a sad day, to say we have this day; but, again, I like to view it as day of opportunity,” said Snyder. “This is an opportunity for us to work together — to bring people together as Detroit, Michigan; to say we are going to turn around the city of Detroit through teamwork and collaboration.”
Snyder made the comments Thursday in Detroit as he announced he’s recommending bankruptcy expert, Kevyn Orr, who represented Chrysler during its restructuring, to take on the city’s finances.
Listen to the news conference:
“This is not about asking one individual to come in and fix the city of Detroit,” said Snyder. “This is about — if you look at the history of the city — this is a problem that’s been evolving for 60-plus years. This is a problem that now has reached a true crisis point.”
Snyder said there were three key attributes he looked for in the candidate:
“The first one is that they have strong interpersonal skills; they have a great ability to work in a collaborative fashion to cooperate, to work together, based on team work,” Snyder said.
“That second one … is someone who would bring the technical skills: business and legal issues and financial issues, and the issues of restructuring and how to deal with difficult financial situations,” said Snyder. “The third one is someone who is a decision maker.”
The governor said he made the decision after carefully weighing all of his options.
“I watched the appeal hearing. I’ve also received and reviewed the report from the Chief Deputy Treasurer,” he said. “So, based on all those features, again, I am going to confirm my determination of having a financial emergency.”
Shortly after the governor’s announcement, Orr took the podium.
WWJ’s Vickie Thomas asked him if he had any trepidation about taking the job — and whether he was worried about possible backlash.
“I am a strong believer in people’s rights to peaceably assemble and for freedom of expression,” said Orr, who is a Democrat. “And as long as it’s civil they’re exercising their democratic rights. So, I’m not concerned about that at all.
“The first component about your question — is there any trepidation … in my business, you’re sort of the undertaker that walks up to the front door. I am rarely welcomed with open arms,” said Orr. “So you might say I’ve been inoculated against the concept that people aren’t exactly happy to see me come along.”
Listen to the Q & A Session: