DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Bankruptcy attorney and turnaround specialist Kevyn Orr arrived at Detroit City Hall Monday morning to begin his first day on the job as emergency financial manager.
Orr was appointed earlier this month by Gov. Rick Snyder and takes over the finances of the largest city in the country to come under state oversight.
Orr also plans to look at the city’s financial data to help develop his plan of action in tackling Detroit’s fiscal crisis. The city has a $327 million budget deficit and more than $14 billion in debt.
Orr is expected to be met by protesters as he steps into his role.
Some community leaders, including a group led by prominent Detroit pastors have expressed fierce opposition to Orr’s appointment and Michigan’s emergency manager law. Speaking in the city on Friday, Rev. Jesse Jackson called for mass protests, saying Orr’s appointment by the state sets a “dangerous precedent.”
In speaking out against the state takeover, Jackson described the EFM as a stranger with the power to neutralize a sitting mayor and city council, end or renegotiate labor contracts and sell-off city assets
A rally opposing Orr’s appointment set for 11 a.m. in front of the Spirit of Detroit statue outside of the Coleman A-Young Municipal Building on Woodward.
Meantime, Orr has said he expects to sit down with Mayor Dave Bing Monday and meet with City Council members.
Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown arrived to work shortly after Orr.
“I look forward to meeting him sometime today and talking about what we just talked about: How do we reduce crime in the city of Detroit,” Brown said.
City Council President Charles Pugh is expected to urge Orr to keep the council in place.
Talking to WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas last week, Orr said he has no pre-conceived plans to dissolve City Council — although it’s not out of the question.
Whatever he does — he’s expected to do it quickly.
“Mr. Orr himself says he thinks he can get this done in 18 months,” said Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. “There are many in this town — who, by the way, are on spring break starting today — who said, wow, that’s an impossible job, but we’ll watch to see what he does.”
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.
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