Orr prescribes strong medicine for Detroit - New York News

Orr prescribes strong medicine for Detroit

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Editorial by Mike Renda
General Manager, WJBK Fox 2

Detroit has some tough medicine to swallow, but isn't the cure worth it?  

Detroit Emergency Manager  Kevyn Orr's blueprint for redefining Detroit includes some bitter medicine for bondholders, creditors and city pensioners.

Orr says Detroit is not capable of paying back its overwhelming debt.The best the city can do is offer 10- cents on the dollar to creditors.  He's asking unions to accept reductions in pension benefits and restructure retiree health care.

Orr believes concessions are needed in order for the city to provide basic services to its residents.

More than that, Orr says if conditions of his plan are not met, Detroit will go into bankruptcy and this could derail any kind of city Renaissance.

Tough medicine for sure, but there are signs of recovery, like the proposed 650-million dollar arena district.

It's a new home for the Detroit Red Wings that creates a concentrated area of sports arenas and entertainment complexes.

This boosts development along the Woodward corridor that stretches from the riverfront. to midtown and potentially beyond.  

The tax dollars to fund this project come from state legislated property taxes and will not tap into Detroit's operations line.

It comes down to this: While orr is asking creditors and unions to make huge sacrifices, others are placing major bets that  Detroit will become a thriving urban center .

A city that "works" is what we all want. The coming weeks will tell the story.

We'd like to hear what you think. Add your comments below.

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