Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Robert Weiner and Richard Mann
In the oral debate over cutting down the power of the Voting Rights Act – the law designed to assure enforcement of no discrimination against minorities’ right to vote – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated last month, “This is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress.” He called the bill, “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” He added, “It is very difficult to get out … through the normal political process.” The Court could make a decision as early as June.
The Justice apparently missed that the 15th Amendment to the Constitution states, “The right of citizens to vote shall not be abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
The extremely significant next sentence of the 15th Amendment states, “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was recently asked if Congress has the power to enact and amend the Voting Rights Act. She responded, “Yes, it’s there in the 14th and 15th Amendments.” To assure she meant the directness of her answer, she was asked if people are just wrong to say Congress does not have the power. She repeated, “It’s in the 14th and 15th Amendments.”
The 14th Amendment specifies that no group’s vote should be “denied” or “in any way abridged” and that if any state does so, the state’s congressional “representation shall be reduced in proportion” to the group’s voter reduction.
We asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich last week if he still believes the Constitution gives Congress the power, since he had presided over and voted for extensions of the Voting Rights Act, and he said “Yes.” He asked us what we thought was Scalia’s reasoning to question it, and we told him about Justice Scalia’s assertion that Congress was politically pandering. Gingrich, unfazed, responded, “All the Founding Fathers won elections and understood that – they all were elected.” One may often disagree with Gingrich’s policies and politics, but as a congressional and constitutional historian, he is informed.
It’s not as though discrimination is dead and we no longer need the Voting Rights Act. After the Civil War and right through to 1965, many states enacted Jim Crow laws to try to subvert the freedom of former slaves and the right of African Americans to vote. That was what gave birth to the Voting Rights Act and its extensions. But the battle continues. In our time, in the 2012 election, thirty-seven states attempted voter suppression of minorities by targeted ID requirements and reduced hours to vote. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is Congress’s way to stop the undemocratic shenanigans denying minorities the vote.
The Voting Rights Act and its extensions have been among the most bipartisan and overwhelmingly supported votes in American history, including the 25-year renewal in 2006 by 98-0 in the Senate and 390-33 in the House.
Last month, the leaders of the Judiciary Committee that reported out the 2006 bill--Democrat John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Republican James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)--issued a unique joint statement and filed a bipartisan “amicus” to the Court saying the Voting Rights Act with its Section Five “protects our most fundamental right—the right to vote. This law has empowered minorities to participate in the election process, but the threat of discrimination is not yet extinct.” The Judiciary Committee had taken 12,000 pages of testimony.
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) said this month, “I gave blood, others gave blood, so that the rights of people can be protected.” It is unfortunate that Justice Scalia made his statement about “racial entitlements” on the same day, February 27, that Rosa Parks’ statue was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol.
There is a window. Perhaps Scalia’s earlier comment that “this Court doesn’t like to get involved in racial questions such as this one… that can be left to Congress” will be his better side and will be the Court’s attitude. The 15th Amendment says “Congress shall have the power.” However, if the Supreme Court knocks the law down or diminishes it, this should be one of those rare circumstances where the Congress effectively reverses the Supreme Court and reenacts the bill, perhaps changing a word or two so that it can say there is a difference.
Some weeks ago we went out and bought a little pamphlet for a couple of dollars with the text of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The whole thing is about 1/20th a normal paperback novel’s length. You can read and circle phrases in it in an hour or two. There is much talk these days about the Constitution. Some people try to make it seem complicated. That’s just a way of keeping we the people from our power. There is also enormous biased usage of the wording. We want an informed electorate, and everyone should read it and even carry the small pamphlet around.
And that includes the Justices themselves.
Robert Weiner is a former White House spokesman, communications director for committees headed by Representatives Conyers, Rangel, Pepper, and Koch, aide to Senator Kennedy, and a congressional committee chief of staff. He wrote the epilogue to Bankole Thompson’s groundbreaking book, Obama and Christian Loyalty. Richard Mann is senior policy analyst at Robert Weiner Associates, Solutions for Change, and a journalism master’s degree graduate of Roosevelt University.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 16:44
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Kevyn Orr, the Washington, D.C. bankruptcy attorney named by Governor Rick Snyder as the Emergency Financial Manager of Detroit beginning March 25, said during an exclusive interview with Bankole Thompson, editor of the Michigan Chronicle, that everything is on the table to get Detroit’s finances straightened out. That includes bankruptcy, city assets, pension funds, retiree benefits, city creditors and every other stakeholder tied to the financial wellbeing of the city.
Following are excerpts from that interview.
MICHIGAN CHRONICLE: What is there about you that we don’t know?
KEVYN ORR: Not much at this point. It’s really not much about me. I’m just a guy who had the good fortune of falling into a couple of jobs that led me to restructure and practice and has me here. So really it’s not about me. It’s about somebody who can come in to do the hard work of looking at the numbers, statutes, making decisions but also being sympathetic to the fact of real world impact. That’s what it’s about.
MC: You said that this is the “Olympics of restructuring.” Is this the biggest assignment for you so far?
KO: Not in dollar value. We’ve done bigger cases. The reason I say it’s the Olympics of restructuring is most Chapter 11 restructurings have to do with taking a business that’s in crisis, coming up with a reorganization plan to restructure, getting stakeholders to agree to a structure that works and getting that plan voted on and the operating system running it again.
The thing that’s different here and is different in Chapter 9 definition is there is a bystander as the citizens and the constituents of a municipality. In a sense the balance sheet aspect of what we have to do is pretty straightforward as I keep saying. The math is the math: maintaining city services, dealing with efficiencies, addressing people’s fears and anxiety, public safety and the employees. Detroit is one of the largest employers in Wayne County, if not the largest.
That’s what makes it so difficult and doing that in an environment where you recognize what you do is going to have consequences to people.
When I’m in a business deal, this is business. This isn’t personal. There is some single mother out there who is gets up at 4:30 a.m., gets on a bus, drops her kids off on the way to her first job at 3 p.m. She has a14 year old who is going to take care of her 12 year old and 7 year old. She gets home at 9 p.m., tired, hopefully they haven’t got in trouble, get something to eat, their homework. She starts it over every day. I recognize that’s a hard way of living.
That’s how my grandparents live.
MC: So what about a single mother who’s skeptical about city services because she has in the past had no EMS service, inadequate public safety?
KO: To that person just an awareness that we’ve got to improve city services, to put these lights up because there’s a difference between October and May. Kids walking to school in the dark, that sort of thing. That’s the person I’m really talking to when I say the Olympics of restructuring because it’s not just on the business angle, it’s really the substance here.
MC: You sounded a consensus note in your first press conference. What would you specifically asked the Detroit City Council to do?
KO: I want to cooperate with city council. I’m emergency financial manager. I’m not an elected official. Council are the representatives of the people. They know their constituencies. They live here. I’m the guy coming in from outside. I think they have a very real and very substantive role to play both in communications and also recognizing my time frame is fairly short. I’m going to gone someday.
There are still going to be council people, mayor. In fact, if I get this done quickly enough they get to dimiss. So what I want from them? I want cooperation. I want them to be partners with me in recognizing this is not easy, not their preferred route but partnering with me in getting this job done. That’s what I really want.
MC: You are a successful lawyer. Stepping into this role, you are also stepping into history. This is now part of the Kevyn Orr legacy. How much impact does that have on you as you begin March 25?
KO: It really doesn’t because the reality is my life’s been a process of sort of getting opportunities and taking care of them. And each time I just try to do that job. That’s what I’m focused on. There is a task in front of me. It’s a hard task and whatever comes from that hopefully will flow from having success with that task. The broader process of history and all that context, I can’t even focus on that right now.
MC: You’ll let historians decide your legacy in Detroit?
KO: You know historians will always decide that. It’s up to them. I just want to get this job done.
MC: How would you tackle retiree benefits?
KO: I’ve always said this is going to be data driven. I have to look at inflows and outflows of the city with some of the data regarding the city’s debt service, retiree benefit service, long-term obligations, under state law. I have to look at that and see, frankly, an analysis of what needs to be done so that we can put this city on a sustainable path for growth and development going forward.
Obviously you are going to want an inventory of all of the various components of the employee, retiree benefits and compensation sides, the debt service and city service. I hope what I do is get some data that sort of informs my approach and concern, and approach the stakeholders in this case with an effort to try to negotiate some adjustments that may be necessary.
MC: How would you bring creditors to the table in addressing the fiscal crisis?
KO: To a degree the creditors have already been at the table. There has been forbearance agreements, just the declaration that Detroit is in an emergency situation and the appointment of an emergency financial manager might be in some circumstances covenant default. I understand there’s been ongoing negotiations with creditors. I saw some blog, I’m not a defender of the banks. So everybody calm down and then we’ll approach it in a very deliberate process.
It doesn’t matter whether it was me or someone else. Creditors know that something has to be done because the current path simply isn’t sustainable.
MC: You’ve said Mayor Dave Bing is going to be your partner in this. What’s your impression of him?
KO: First of all, I have to acknowledge that Mayor Bing is a historical and iconic figure in the country’s history, a great basketball player. I was actually very interested in meeting him. He’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. And watching history, Mayor Bing was drafted to run for mayor. He’s done very well for himself and hadn’t bothered anyone. And given the circumstances at the time of the prior mayor, he stepped into the frying pan. So I view him as a very courageous figure. I think it was very commendable of him to decide to become a partner at some risks and criticism from his own colleagues. So I’m very impressed with the mayor and the mayor’s courage. I look forward to working with him.
MC: The elephant in the room is bankruptcy, and it’s being talked about many times. Explain what would trigger bankruptcy for you?
KO: You’re right. The elephant in the room is bankruptcy. And I really mean what I said. If we are able to work on this collegially we can avoid a bankruptcy filing. Good parties in good faith can agree to anything that they want to. What would make me consider bankruptcy? Some of them might be consensual. Oftentimes in certain plans of reorganization, parties enter what’s called “pre-pack,” a deal that everyone has essentially agreed to or the majority of stakeholders have agreed to.
Maybe some outliers, they feel that by going through the bankruptcy process they’ll get the overlay of the court’s approval, they’ll get the court’s jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the package that they need as fiduciaries to make a decision. So sometimes it’s not that there has been a strong carmel’s back that makes a bankruptcy filing, it could be that strategically for all parties it is something they want to do in a quick way. That happens quiet frequently.
MC: What role would the federal government play here given your role as a former member of President Obama’s 2012 campaign finance committee?
KO: I’ve worked with the campaign. I know people in the administration. I don’t know if I’m closer to them on that level. I think certainly he is president of the United States. I don’t know if that gives me any opportunity to request federal help than anyone else in other cities.
MC: Have you gotten calls from the White House?
KO: No. I would like to think that we might have the ability to receive some federal help in some fashion. I don’t want to try to guesstimate it, presage it. There are many programs out there we already may be receiving some funding for. I think it’s fair to say that given Detroit’s position in the world and the status, that this is a significant matter worthy of attention.
MC: Detroit in the past has received federal dollars in grants that were returned unused. How would you deal with that?
KO: Part of the analysis is what tools and opportunities we have available that we haven’t been using. I would hate to see the city having received grants and haven’t found a way to use them. I’d certainly look into that.
MC: What was instructive in the Chrysler bankruptcy process?
KO: People keep going back to Chrysler. We have to remember that Chrysler was a private sector deal. This is different. Chapter 9 is different. What struck me at Chrysler, frankly, was the ability of the parties, even adversaries, to work together quickly and efficiently, and the ability of the federal bankruptcy court system to administer that case in a record-setting time. From filing of the case to the sale, the reorganization of the company was 42 days. That was pretty exceptional. Now past performance is no guarantee of future outcomes.
MC: Comparatively speaking, how does the financial crisis that hit New York and Baltimore fit in the Detroit equation?
KO: Well, I see a group of concerned people coming together, focused in good faith, really attentive in terms of trying to make a decision as far as what you do for the interest of the city, and then executing on it and having results. I’m in no illusion that the long-term problems we need to deal with — growing the city, city services — are going to happen in 18 months. I’m just merely an architect trying to design a process that can be put in place to make it sustainable so that the inheritors of that process, the elected officials that come later, will take that up and have the ability to achieve the results we’ve seen in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and other cities.
MC: Let’s talk about generating revenue for Detroit.
KO: Well, I think everything is on the table for me as emergency financial manager. Certainly looking at ways, cashiering, collection, looking at ways that we can generate revenue is part of the job.
MC: Now let’s discuss city assets. Part of the criticism about your appointment is that it is believed you are here to sell Detroit’s assets, like the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. What do you say to that?
KO: Well, I think I said everything is on the table. I think I’ve also said we’ll try to use the data to make reasoned decisions that provide a net benefit to the city. If you look at a city that is cash strapped in and can’t get things done in certain ways. If you have the opportunity to enhance the revenue stream from existing assets without loosing that asset, you have to examine that. At least be open to the concept. If you can generate from a system $50 million in net cash flow per year, in ten years that half a billion dollars. That’s a lot of money. So everything has to be looked at.
But I’m sensitive to the fact that people are very concerned about an emergency manager coming in selling everything off. But there may be ways to increase value (of the assets) for the benefit of the city.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:15
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Last week at Cadillac Place, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder named for the first time an emergency financial manager for Detroit, a move that was strongly opposed by those who saw it as a blatant disregard for the voting rights of Detroiters who through the ballot box for decades have been electing their officials through the power of the vote.
That the voting right is so sacrosanct they say that nothing should abridge that right, no matter what the consequences are.
On the other hand, it was welcome news for those who saw the arrival of the new sheriff in town, Kevyn Orr, as a needed exercise to get the city’s finances in order, save a major American city from collapse and the ruins of inept city leadership amidst the naked dwindling of city services that often have forced residents to move out.
Inadequate public safety, including the frequent no-show EMS services and a struggling police department that is battling morale for changing so many police chiefs sunk in scandals in four years like musical chairs, coupled with the unacceptable deaths of babies and children, the victims of guns in Detroit, according to supporters of an emergency financial manager for Detroit, should serve as an impetus for Orr’s arrival.
What can I say?
The future is uncertain despite what both the pessimists and the optimists say about Orr’s arrival. This is high stakes for Detroit, a clear indication of how the city is transitioning in so many phases. Yet it presents a different Detroit than what the Motor City was decades ago.
Orr is here for an 18-month assignment. The governor has made his appointment. The city and its leaders must deal with the fact that he’s here now. No amount of pressure will force the governor to back away from this appointment because he’s made it clear that he wants Detroit to succeed even though the city did not vote for him. He said if Detroit succeeds it’s a story that all of Michigan can celebrate.
So he appointed a lifelong Democrat and a member of the Obama 2012 campaign finance team to come and restructure the finances of the city.
True, it is a bitter pill for the city’s elected leaders who strongly believe anytime a Republican administration reaches out to help a heavily Democratic base, it must be greeted with a sea of skepticism because history often has shown that the desire to assist the city was not rooted in sincerity.
But Snyder has maintained very strongly that he is indeed sincere about helping Detroit, starting with his election victory party at the Westin Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit as opposed to Grand Rapids, as well as inviting Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to moderate his inauguration as governor.
His public backing of a lighting authority to turn the street lights on in Detroit, and a regional transit authority, both of which have huge significance for Michigan’s largest city his supporters say show a governor who unlike others in the past (except Governor William Milliken) wants to have a Detroit agenda.
Yes, history has shown that deep ideological battles have divided Detroit and Lansing, and the perception that has been created by politicians on both sides of Eight Mile have not helped to bring the region together to fully embrace its most significant city, home of the American auto industry.
Despite its role as the engine of Southeast Michigan, Detroit is still shaped and defined by its past both, by leaders representing this majority African-American city and those representing suburban cities. Any attempt to define Detroit in its current dispensation is met with resistance and angry responses that seek to drag the city into the past, not into the future.
In fact, a suburban leader once lamented to me at a meeting that “anytime we reach out to support Detroit and programs in the city, we were always told, we don’t need your help, stay away.” He blamed part of that to the attitude of some of his colleagues in their political posturing on issues that cut across communities.
A case in point has been the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, the only city entity that doesn’t bleed a deficit. The water department, which provides fresh water for regional communities, has long been a racial powder keg by politicians who use it to stoke the fears of their constituents as well as those who cleverly utilize it for political grandstanding.
That explains why the water department has been a symbol of conflict instead of cooperation because using it as a wedge issue proves beneficial for politicians who have nothing else to pander to but to fears of their voters.
The opposition to Orr’s appointment is fueled by that history, laden with a litany of instances where Detroit wrongly got the shaft, and still is recovering from that history as it undergoes a new dispensation.
It’s a new day and Detroit cannot be stuck in the past even as the past provides a logical and historical framework from which to gauge the current dispensation. If our leaders were truly honest and worked to bridge the divide, shown interest and concern for the majority of those who are innocently trapped in inexcusable social malaise, we could be much further ahead.
However, Snyder’s support of right-to-work legislation after his promise to stay away from any such “divisive” issue only helped to heightened suspicion and did not help the governor quell his skeptics in Detroit.
Even though some of the governor’s supporters argue that right-to-work — the result of the deal that went bad between labor leaders and the governor’s office — belongs exclusively to labor and should not be generalized as an issue specifically tailored to a certain group of people or community.
Yet, the fact remains that the city is a creature of the state and we don’t expect the state to abandon Detroit at its most economic perilous time.
Sometimes political decisions are gambles, just as President Obama gambled with the auto industry by coming in to rescue General Motors and Chrysler. And it paid off for the president during his reelection campaign in Ohio and Michigan and sunk the campaign of his chief opponent, Mitt Romney, whose gamble that the auto industry should be left to go under did him no good during the campaign. His own words written in a Wall Street Journal editorial came back to haunt him and the Republican nominee could no longer defend himslf. He kept putting new spins on his comments, but Obama prevailed.
If Orr succeeds in financially restructuring Detroit and city services become more efficient than they have been, Snyder will be vindicated.
Change sometimes is needed, but the question is, what kind of change?
Mother Theresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Is Orr the stone that will create ripples in Detroit?
What will Orr achieve on July 3, when he will mark 100 days in office?
We know Detroit’s problems are many but can neighborhoods where children walk in the dark from school finally be lit?
Will local government reprioritize to ensure that we open recreational centers in neighborhoods where residents are have families or plan to?
Will senior citizens continue to be prisoners in their own homes because their neighborhoods are so ridden with crime and they no longer bother to call the police because of past experiences?
How many of the city’s books can Orr straighten out in 100 days?
How many abandoned buildings that are safety hazards can be demolished in 100 days?
What will the city be pointing to in terms of generating revenue in 100 days?
If Orr can find an answer to some of these questions, the city and its residents will be far better off.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:14
Category: News Briefs Written by HuffingtonPost
The latest trend in real estate is one that's giving us serious pause.
"Mansion squatting", as it's being coined on the internet, is a peculiar growing problem all over the country. Just this week, UPI reported that a woman had conned her way into living in seven different Seattle mansions, months at a time, for absolutely free. She got her foot in the door by proposing a rent-to-buy agreement, but apparently never made good on either end of that bargain.
Meanwhile, it was discovered that a Brazilian man had taken up residence in a Florida mansion, hoping to be protected under the state's "adverse possession" rule. The 19th-century law allows for someone to occupy an abandoned home if they've paid taxes on the property for seven years.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:29
Category: News Briefs Written by HuffingtonPost
Rock Ventures announced Tuesday the company had bought yet another building in Detroit. 1001 Woodward Avenue is just the latest downtown real estate investment for developer Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.
The 23-story building is located at Michigan Avenue by Campus Martius Park and has first floor retail space. It's home to GalaxE.Solutions, Meridian Health Plan, the University of Phoenix and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). According to a release, the tower came 68 percent occupied but space to be used by Quicken Loans will bring that up to 87 percent.
Gilbert sees the building as a potential home for tech companies.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 08:50
Category: News Briefs Written by AOLAutos
Detroit Electric, an electric vehicle brand founded in the early 1900s, is returning to MoTown with an all-new two seat electric sports car set to debut at the Shanghai Motor Show next month.
The company had been out of business for more than 70 years, but was revived in 2008 by Albert Lam, former executive director of Lotus Cars in England. The carmaker announced today plans to create 180 jobs in the region by the end of 2013.
The announcement is sure to be exciting news for the city of Detroit, which has been starving for innovative new companies and blue-collar manufacturing jobs for years. Detroit Electric should help on both accounts, as it will set up shop in the historic Fischer Building in downtown Detroit and will physically manufacture vehicles in the area, though the exact location of a factory--which the company says will have the capacity to make 2,500 vehicles--has not been disclosed.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 08:25
Category: News Briefs Written by HuffingtonPost
What better way to herald the return of Gru from "Despicable Me" than with Eminem? No better way, apparently: the "Despicable Me 2" trailer has arrived, accompanied by the 2002 hit song "Without Me," which includes the dulcet, R-rated boastings of Marshall Mathers. (None of those lyrics, of course, make it into the trailer.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 08:21
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Britney Spear, Regional Content Editor
In an effort to begin matching Michigan's talent to available jobs, Gov. Rick Snyder kicked off a two-day jobs summit last week at Cobo Center in Detroit.
Stressing that the state is "loaded with talent", Snyder's biggest idea revolved around ensuring that Michigan doesn't lose its youth due to limited opportunities. The first part of the two-day event included a pitch from a handful of college students studying a variety of majors. They spoke directly to local business, academic and government leaders.
Michigan's economic survival rests on providing incentives that keep new and recent college graduates from leaving the area. That means creating more job opportunities so that people, young and old, won't feel as though they have to move out of state to find suitable work. It's a challenge the state must willfully accept to remain afloat.
This week's summit sought to benefit not just job seekers but also prospective employers. Gov. Snyder expressed an intent to offer insight as to the type of talent available in Michigan, and who exactly is looking for work. The conference also addressed key challenges and how the community can come together to provide viable solutions.
"I think it's always good when you sit down with various industries and you ask them, what is wrong with Detroit? It's always enlightening and eye opening", said Nathaniel Wallace, Vice President of the Farmington Hills-based firm Communications Professionals.
Wallace expressed he feels one of the main advantages of the conference is that it gave business leaders an opportunity to forecast. A Detroit resident, Wallace shared that his company looks to do more business in the city and wants to better understand possible roadblocks.
"I wanted to hear other business owners' perspectives on how they do business... as far as retaining talent and adding more local human capital", said Wallace.
While several attendees did get an opportunity to share their best practices with each other, certain representative groups were noticeably absent from the conference. Referencing the lack of diversity, Wallace expressed he would have loved to see more participation from black businesses.
"We need to understand what is going on as far as Michigan is concerned...we need to tell our stories too, but we are not showing up", said Wallace.
What's to blame for the limited presence of individuals who most closely reflect a majority of Detroit's population? Wallace shares it might be due to a variety of reasons.
"Either we don't know, we aren't invited or we just don't think that it pertains to us."
Spreading awareness is as always, a matter of relevance. It is important that minorities, just as much as members of the entire community become more involved in the conversation surrounding the state of our local economy. It's the first step, and a major one toward better understanding and overcoming its most pertinent challenges.
The big question is, how do we close the gap so that individuals from all walks of life can better benefit from activities like the one held this week?
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @missbritneysp
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:51
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Britney Spear, Regional Content Editor
It has been revealed that Detroit's newly appointed EFM Kevyn Orr has experienced financial troubles of his own. A pair of tax liens were placed on his one million dollar Maryland home.
Orr responded to the recent report by calling the situation "quite embarassing", yet expressed he took care of the problem as soon he became aware of it. Orr stated that the dilemma occurred as a result of the oversight of an accountant he hired to file his taxes.
EFM opponents argue it is highly ironic that Orr, in the midst of his own troubles, believes he can manage Detroit's finances. His tax problems might also have become a problem for Gov. Rick Snyder. Some say it reveals that his office's investigation into Orr's finances must have been sloppy given that they did not pick up on the situation beforehand.
The big question for many is, how did someone with such a wealth of knowledge and experience on financial matters, not know there were four liens against his home? Some argue that even an average person with limited scope would be aware of such an important matter. Others in favor of an emergency manager are not as convinced that what they call an isolated incident has any bearing on the newly-appointed EFM's ability to bring the city out of its challenges.
Will Kevyn Orr prove his critics wrong, and restore Detroit to financial stability?
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @missbritneysp
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 09:11
Category: News Briefs Written by NewsOne
A Detroit woman claims that her home on the city’s southwest side was robbed twice and she got little help from the cops, Fox 2 News Detroit reports.
Ashley Ball (pictured) says the first time her home was jacked was on Tuesday, when she arrived home to see that her door had been “pried open with a crowbar.”
“They ransacked my house, stole… electronics, jewelry, keepsakes,” she explained. “The Detroit Police came, and they had a team come out and dust the next day.”
But the crooks weren’t done. The very next day, Ball says she slowed her car to a creeping speed as she drove down the alley behind her home because she felt something fishy was going on. Her senses were right: the thieves were in her house with her goods and making their getaway as she crept closer to the house.
Ball drove after them.
“I called 911. I said I had the cars, I had the guys, described them, gave them the license plate,” Ball said.
“Chased through Dearborn, Dearborn Heights. 911 told me to quit chasing them because I was putting myself in danger,” Ball explained. “I was on the phone with 911. I was screaming I caught him, and he’s here. Are you guys coming?”
They never did.
“I saw them. I was this close to them. I can’t do anything about it. Nobody’s there to help me,” she added. “I’m thinking you’re just going to let them get away.”
“They had their crowbar. The guy had a gun. It’s scary,” Ball said. “I was extremely afraid.”
Ball wants the Detroit Police Department to deal with her case ASAP! But there’s a catch: the cop handling her case will not return to work until Sunday.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 09:06
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