Duggan, Orr reach power-sharing agreement in Detroit

Dec 20, 2013

Detroit mayor-elect Mike Duggan will have broad powers to run the city’s day-to-day business.

Duggan and emergency manager Kevyn Orr have reached a power-sharing agreement that gives Duggan control over most city functions.

While Duggan will have substantial operational powers, he’s also promised not to “interfere” with any of Orr’s financial control.

That includes with the plan of adjustment Orr will propose to adjust Detroit’s debts in bankruptcy court. During his campaign, Duggan said he would “go to the bankruptcy judge” and try to influence that process if necessary.

Admitting that “I didn’t get everything I would have liked,” Duggan says it’s a good deal overall.

“I could either have said to the citizens, ‘I’ll wait until October first and not participate, and just take shots at the emergency manager,’ or ‘I’ll step in now, and deal with those areas that I have responsibility for, and try to change the quality of life,’” Duggan says.

Duggan says he will still try to influence the process through mediation with chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, particularly when it comes to cutting retiree pensions and selling city assets, two more things Duggan campaigned against.

“I’m going to continue to advocate within the process,” Duggan says. “What you will not hear me do is publicly criticizing the emergency manager.”

Duggan also named some key appointments to his cabinet. Among them: former Detroit State Representative Lisa Howze as chief of staff; and former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon as deputy mayor.

Orr retains direct authority over the police department, but the fire department will report to McKinnon.