Perhaps the days of pretending and spending will finally come to an end in Detroit with the appointment of Kevin Orr as the Emergency Financial Manager.
If you have a hole in your roof, pretending to fix it will not keep the rain out. Detroit has been living on Fantasy Island for far too long. Sadly, their fantasy behavior has been enabled by pandering politicians at the state level as well.
Back in 2005, it was obvious that Motown was paying its Visa Card with its Master Card, yet the Granholm Administration allowed more long-term borrowing to allow the pretending and spending to continue. This on top of years of financial foolishness as the world shook beneath the feet of Detroit’s elected political leaders. Elected leaders at both the local and state level have been kicking Detroit’s financial troubles down the road for some time. They have run out of can and road.
Governor Snyder said “enough is enough” and appointed an emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.
No, Mr. Orr did not walk up the Detroit River to take on this challenge – but his resume equals his debut at the press conference announcing his appointment. Bright, confident, thoughtful, articulate, and driven , he expressed a willingness to “work with” – not simply “work on” – Detroit’s elected leaders; not simply to cut, slash, and burn – but to restore services that Detroit so desperately deserves.
For the naysayers, stop. Stop attempting to tie two-ton weights around the new EM’s ankles before he even dives into the financial woes facing the city. Become a sail not an anchor.
Three leaders stepped up Thursday:
1) Gov. Snyder. The governor could have found a way around leading on this issue as many of his predecessors have done before him. He saw a problem. He stepped up. He dove in with a solution. Agree or disagree, he is a leader that is leading.
2) Kevyn Orr. The man is obviously bright and capable, and he will gladly take the leadership baton from Snyder and run with it. He has the ability to help turn around Detroit.
3) Mayor Dave Bing. Say what?, you ask. Yes, Mayor Bing. The mayor behaved like a true team player, willing to slide down the bench when a new “star” player joins the team.
Bing deserves praise for sucking it up and pledging to work with Mr. Orr to get the city working again. Even the best player can’t score without assist from teammates, subordinating themselves for the overall advancement of the team. Juxtaposed to disgraced Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick being led off to 20 or more years in prison, Mayor Bing earned a spot on Detroit all-star team this week.
Welcome back to Michigan, Mr. Orr. Please know many will do all to help you succeed. Today, is a new day in Detroit.