Duggan Appoints Economic Adviser as Detroit Prepares to Exit Chapter 9


As Detroit prepares to exit Chapter 9 bankruptcy, Mayor Mike Duggan has appointed Carol O’Cleireacain to his cabinet, creating the position as deputy mayor for economic policy, planning, and strategy. In her role, O’Cleireacain will spearhead an effort to make the city less dependent on annual tax revenue. 

“Our ability to live within the Plan of Adjustment once it is approved can’t rely solely on traditional revenue sources because they can fluctuate based on conditions we can’t control,” says Duggan. “I’ve charged O’Cleireacain with identifying new funding sources to help insulate ourselves against these unknowns so the city can provide a consistent level of service.”

In addition to identifying external revenue sources, O’Cleireacain will be responsible for the financial transition involving the Detroit Water and Sewage Department and recently approved Great Lakes Water Authority (which Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties have approved).

“Mayor Duggan is setting a strong tone of financial accountability with his administration and I’m thrilled to have been asked to play a role,” O’Cleireacan says. “The Mayor is building a great team that is going to transform the way Detroit meets the needs of its residents for years to come.”

The position was created by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr as part of the transition agreement from State emergency management to city control of the government.

O’Cleireacain previously held positions as deputy treasurer of the State of New Jersey, finance commissioner, and then budget director of New York City, the nation’s fourth largest taxing authority.