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Orr: Detroit's current financial situation is 'non-sustainable'

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Kevyn Orr said Detroit's current financial situation is "non-sustainable" during a live interview on Fox 2 News. Kevyn Orr said Detroit's current financial situation is "non-sustainable" during a live interview on Fox 2 News.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Kevyn Orr has been named emergency financial manager for the City of Detroit. He and Governor Rick Snyder joined Huel Perkins and Monica Gayle for a live interview on Fox 2 News.

Now that Orr has the title and the power, what is the first thing he intends to do?

"The first thing I intend to do is to look at all the data and try to figure out what can we do immediately to deliver an enhancement of services to the citizens, the customers of Detroit. I then want to sit down with the restructuring team that the governor has been working with and with some of the stakeholders and other elected officials, the mayor, for instance, and the City Council, and try to develop a list of priorities, some of which are already in the pipeline, but some of which are critical that we can get to right away," he said.

Was Orr the only person to say yes to the job?

"Other people were interested, but we got the best, and that's where I'm very excited," said Snyder. "If you look at Kevyn's background, he fit all the criteria very strongly. He was actually the role model if you looked at these criteria."

"We have one of the finest professionals in the country in this field for restructuring, for bankruptcy, to do this work -- great interpersonal skills and a decision maker and strong ties to Michigan," the governor added.

Orr has handled bankruptcies before. How bad is the situation in Detroit?

"Detroit's situation is non-sustainable," he said. "It's been non-sustainable for years, though, and everybody agrees with that. Everybody agrees that something needs to be done."

"Whether it's looking at the short-term obligations or the long-term liabilities, we simply cannot kick this can down the road anymore. You've heard the numbers, you've heard the status, this is a crucial time, a time to reset the table so that we get on a sustainable course for this great city," Orr added.

There is a lot of fear that in an effort to balance the books, some of the city's assets, including Belle Isle and the Water Department, might be sold off. Would Orr do that?

"I don't know," he said. "Certainly those items have been discussed, Belle Isle, the Water Department, the Lighting Authority. Everything is on the table. The one thing I'd like to do in approaching any discussion is make sure that it's a net positive benefit to the city. Not a desperation play, not a Hail Mary, a net positive benefit both short-term and long-term for the interests of the citizens of Detroit. That's the thing to do."

Will Orr be moving to Detroit or simply commuting?

"I'm going to move to the city. My family's going to stay in Washington, D.C. My wife's a professional. She's a surgeon and a research physician at Johns Hopkins. It's not easy to move her, but I'm all in. I'm quitting my job. I am moving to the city. I could not be more committed. I've reached land, and I've burned my boat. So I'm here. I'm ready to go."

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