Detroit’s new mayor took office Wednesday and got down to brass tacks, despite holding limited powers in a cash-strapped city whose finances are controlled by a state-appointed emergency manager, the Associated Press reports.
Mike Duggan, who became the city’s first white mayor in 40 years, held his first staff meetings at City Hall after a morning swearing-in ceremony, the AP reports. He was voted into office in November.
Since his election, Duggan, a former Detroit Medical Center chief, has been busy, attending a meeting of new mayors hosted by the White House, putting together his own administration and lobbying with emergency manager Kevyn Orr for a greater role in the city’s immediate turnaround.
Under the state’s emergency manager law, Orr controls Detroit’s finances and filed the city’s bankruptcy petition in July. On Dec. 3, federal Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that Detroit could become the largest U.S. city to enter bankruptcy.
“We have a division of responsibilities that I respect,” Duggan said of Orr, who did not attend the ceremony, the AP reports. “I’m going to do the best job I can.”
“I expect that we’re going to have a relationship based on the agreement we’ve reached,” he added, according to the AP. “I’m going to disagree on some things.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Orr in March. Detroit, Orr says, has at least $18 billion in debt and is expected to release a plan of adjustment for the city’s restructuring early this month.
Read more at the Huffington Post.