Nation & World News

Detroit’s Emergency Manager: ‘There’s Just No Money’

By Eyder Peralta on July 23rd, 2013

Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, defended his decision to take the city into bankruptcy. The most contentious issue regarding the city is what bankruptcy protection could mean for the pensions of some retired city workers.

In a blunt interview with All Things Considered‘s Robert Siegel, Orr said that saying retirees will receive no money is false.

“We’re just talking about adjusting them to today’s realities,” said Orr.

Robert pressed him on a number: Will it mean that former city workers will receive 50 percent, 75 percent of what they thought they would get?

Orr refused to give a number. Robert also asked him about complaints that the city is reneging on contracts it had made with its workers, who are not to blame for the financial mess the city is in.

“Workers are caught with that reality, but also they voted for the leadership of some of their pensions,” said Orr. Essentially, he said, “the birds have come home to roost.”

Robert followed up: “So you’re saying the residents of Detroit should be held accountable for the people they elected all those is years?”

Orr replied: “No I don’t want to be quite that harsh in my assumption. I’m just saying there were many indicators and warning signs that could have been corrected over a number of years and I don’t want to blame the victim, Robert.

“But I want to say, it doesn’t matter what happened in the past. A retrospective, looking behind us isn’t productive, what matters is where we are now.”

And that means the city is drowning in financial obligations.

“There is no money,” Orr said. “It doesn’t matter what I say, it doesn’t matter what we look back on, there’s just no money.”

Much more of Robert’s interview with Orr will air on today’s All Things Considered. We’ll post the as-aired version of the interview later today.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Guatemala's former President Otto Pérez Molina gives a press conference at the Interior Ministry in Guatemala City.

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal

Prosecutors charge that Pérez Molina was involved in a scheme that gave businesspeople breaks on import tariffs in exchange for bribes. Congress voted Wednesday to lift his immunity.


Federal Ferguson Review Finds More Than 100 Lessons For Police

An assessment of police response to the demonstrations there calls into question strategies like the overwatch tactic, with officers using rifle sights to survey the crowd from atop tactical vehicles.


Actor Dean Jones, seen here in 1966, died Tuesday at age 84. Jones starred in 10 Disney films, including That Darn Cat!

Dean Jones, Herbie’s Driver In Disney Movies, Dies At Age 84

Actor Dean Jones, who starred in The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and other classic Walt Disney movies, also played the role of Bobby in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.


No Cause For Murder Charges In Arafat’s Death, French Investigators Say

More than two years after accusations arose that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s 2004 death was the result of polonium-210 poisoning, French judges say there isn’t enough evidence.


London's Walkie-Talkie building, left, took the prize this year for UK's worst building.

‘Walkie-Talkie’ Tower Roasts Competition For UK’s Worst Building

The flamboyant skyscraper wins this year’s Carbuncle Cup to become London’s most-hated work of architecture.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments