Michigan's governor on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, saying the city's financial emergency will soon be over. Orr was appointed last year to take over the city’s books and guide it through its financial crisis.
Detroit is set to exit receivership and control of the city’s finances will return to local officials when it officially emerges from bankruptcy. It's been a little over a month since a judge approved a restructuring plan in the nation's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy filing, and a hearing is scheduled Monday in federal court to determine the city's exit date, the Associated Press reports.
In a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder announcing his resignation, Orr called it a “milestone” that was “one step in a journey.”
“If the city takes advantage of this unique opportunity to shed the problems of the past and stays on the path that has been blazed in the restructuring, Detroit is poised to grow and thrive,” Orr wrote.
When Orr was appointed in March 2013, the city had an estimated $18-billion debt burden.
Orr was given broad powers to run the city, including changing the city budget, selling assets, and renegotiating labor contracts. In July 2013, Orr said he saw no alternative to filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, blaming decades of fiscal mismanagement, plummeting population and decaying infrastructure.
In the last of his 44 orders, Orr said he’d come to the conclusion “that the financial emergency he was appointed to manage” has been rectified, and that the city’s finances “have been corrected in a sustainable fashion.”
Governing power will revert to the Detroit mayor and City Council members later, but the state will maintain some oversight over the city. City officials cannot, for instance, change the currently approved two-year budget plan without written approval from the state treasurer and the Michigan Financial Review Commission.
The city will be subject to continued financial oversight by the Financial Review Commission for the next 13 years, Snyder’s office said.