DETROIT (AP) — It wasn’t easy making Detroit the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy protection, but it was the right decision, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Sunday as he, the city’s mayor and its emergency manager made the television talk show rounds.
Snyder, a Republican, gave his blessing to emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s decision to file for bankruptcy for Detroit on Thursday.
“We looked through every other viable option,” Snyder said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“The debt question needs to be addressed. But even more important is the accountability to the citizens of Detroit,” said Snyder. “They are not getting the services they deserve and they haven’t for a very long time. So this can has been getting kicked down the road for decades. Enough is enough and now’s the time to turn it around.”
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On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Snyder said if Detroit’s restructuring proves successful, the city could roar back stronger than before.
“We’re moving now on improving Detroit,” he added.
The state hired Orr in March to fix Detroit’s ballooning debt and more than $300 million budget deficit
. He is a turnaround specialist and represented automaker Chrysler LLC during its successful restructuring.
Orr laid out his plans in a June meeting with debt holders, in which his team warned there was a 50-50 chance of a bankruptcy filing. The city then stopped paying $2.5 billion in unsecured debt to “conserve cash” for police, fire and other services.
Orr has said Detroit’s long-term debt burden could be as much as $20 billion.