Why Kevyn Orr is all wrong for Detroit

I don’t know Kevyn Orr personally.  I have never met the man, but I know he is not the man for Detroit, and Governor Rick Snyder should listen up as to why.  Allow me to also point out that I do not care what political party or ideology one has, I am only about the business of fixing things.

I am a believer that words and actions are powerful and meaningful.  This is how I conclude that Mr. Orr is not suited for The Motor City.  Specifically there are four main reasons that make him unsuitable for the job of turning Detroit around.  These observations come from his video on the State of Michigan web site (http://www.michigan.gov/detroitcantwait/0,4839,7-293–297207–,00.html) and what he and Governor Snyder have said.

  1. Mr. Orr is an attorney specializing in bankruptcy.  Detroit does not need a bankruptcy attorney unless this process really isn’t a turnaround as much as it is a satisfaction of a problem for the governor and the rest of the State of Michigan. – i.e. let’s just make this headache go away.  Detroit needs a turnaround specialist
  2. According to Mr. Orr’s video, he is a simple guy who grew up in Florida and has ties to Detroit because he went to school at Michigan and says of Detroit, “we have to do this together” and then describes how the laws of receivership and reorganization and emergency manager give him the power to make it happen.  Later he tells someone who questions him about a particular issue (in the sprit of “we need to do this together”), that “he is in charge”.  Turnaround specialists don’t talk this way and don’t work this way, they don’t begin the process by “drawing lines in the sand”.
  3. Mr. Orr appointed his CFO for Detroit, Jim Bonsall, who started July 21.  He filed Detroit’s bankruptcy on July 18.  The timetable makes no sense.  There appears to have been an agenda from day one.  It does not appear turnaround was in mind, only restructuring, a code word for picking winners and losers; and sometimes that has to happen, just not this early in the process.  In turnarounds, bankruptcy is a last resort, not a first resort.
  4. Mr. Orr claims to have successfully represented Chrysler in its bankruptcy specifically regarding the work in terminating a significant number of Chrysler dealerships.  Somehow, I don’t believe the nearly 800 dealers that lost their franchises and the myriad of bondholders who lost their investment (to name a few of the losers) think the Chrysler restructuring was a success.  Besides, Chrysler is no longer an American car company, it is an Italian car company – that doesn’t sound too successful – necessary maybe, but successful?

To date, what I have heard from Mr. Orr is more about power and “take charge” making decisions that are protected by laws, but in essence, it begins the process of picking winners and losers, essentially transferring the misery.  When he is done in Detroit, he will likely leave the city counting it as another success despite leaving behind the collateral damage, the damage that comes from picking winners and losers.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Community Development

Leave a Reply