DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr spoke to an overflow crowd Monday night at a public forum at Wayne State University about the city’s troubled finances.
The gathering happened ahead of a planned meeting this Friday between Orr and many of the city’s creditors who will likely be asked to take a financial “haircut” to help the city avoid filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
“We are going to be prepared for any eventuality,” said Orr. “In the next six weeks or so we are going to find out if we have true partners for peace moving forward or if we are going to have to use a different route. It’s not a threat, but I want to be clear – I’ve got a job to do – I’ve got six and a half months to do it – and I will use all tools available to me to get that job done.”
“If you did nothing else, no fireworks … nothing – it would take 68 years. It would take 68 years to pay off the debt assuming you incur no further debt – that’s not feasible,” said Orr during the evening meeting.
Orr spoke with WWJ Newsradio 950 early Monday saying that people may argue with the process and may not like the idea of an emergency manager: “But you can’t argue with the numbers and once you do that people will of their own accord realize it’s not sustainable and then the question only becomes about … where do you make the adjustments?”
“I think these are rational, intelligent people and they’ll come to the table hopefully in good faith, with an understanding that we’ve got to do something other than running in place,” said Orr.
“I think we can avoid bankruptcy if people move forward in good faith … in a very serious sense,” added Orr.
The city presently carries an estimated $15-Billion in debt and long-term liabilities.