Snyder and Orr explain why Detroit filed for bankruptcy

Snyder and Orr explain why Detroit filed for bankruptcy

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Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

All eyes are on the Motor City. Friday, Governor Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr were squarely in the spotlight explaining to the world why Detroit has become the largest city in U.S. history to file for municipal bankruptcy.

"This is the time to say enough is enough in terms of the downward decline of Detroit," Snyder said. "The city is basically broke. It has $18 billion in liabilities. That's an unsustainable level of debt."

"There's no way home from that equation. There's no amount of revenue that we could generate to try to address it, so we have to treat it in this fashion of bankruptcy," Orr said.

Watch the second video for our extensive interview with Kevyn Orr about the bankruptcy filing.

While Detroit is being crushed by its massive debt and long term liabilities, city services are suffering and have been for decades. That is something both Snyder and Orr said this bankruptcy could change.

"What would happen if we didn't do this act? Detroit would continue to go downhill, and it wouldn't be the lowest day in Detroit's history. That day would continue day after day, and that's not right ... for the citizens. There are too many people walking to school, trying to make a livelihood in the city, that are putting up with things that just don't make sense," the governor said.

Average Detroiters will not lose any current city services, but there will be some who will feel the pain.

"It's a tragedy for retirees who have worked long and hard for the City of Detroit," said Ed McNeil with AFSCME.

Detroit's unions and pension boards have been in court fighting to protect benefits.

George Orzech is the chairman of the Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board. He said, "If it comes down to a battle, it may have to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court, if that's what they're going to choose."

"To anyone who thinks I wasn't negotiating in good faith when they're suing me, I ask you to look at that context, that your decision instead of coming to the table with me is to continually file suits against me," Orr said.

Both sides hope they can reach an agreement because kicking the can down the road is no longer an option.

"Let's get Detroit on the path to being a great city again because that's critically important to all of Michigan," Snyder said.

Meanwhile, a court in Ingham County has already said the city did not have the right to file for bankruptcy. The attorney general is now taking that to the Court of Appeals, and we can expect the legal battles to continue.

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