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  #31  
Old 07-19-2013, 08:31 AM
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To get an NFL team...
The Fords would just move the team back to Pontiac.
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  #32  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:25 AM
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http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2567159

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In the letter, Snyder explained his decision by citing statistics that have hobbled the city's operations:

• The city's unemployment rate has nearly tripled since 2000 and is more than double the national average.

• The homicide rate is at historically high levels, and the city has been named among America's most dangerous for more than 20 years.

• Detroiters wait an average of 58 minutes for police to respond, compared with the national average of 11 minutes.

• An estimated 40% of the city's street lights didn't work in the first quarter of 2013.

• Roughly 78,000 city structures have been abandoned.

The combination of lost auto industry jobs and rising crime rates prompted many middle-class whites and African Americans to flee Detroit over the past few decades. That exodus left behind an overwhelmingly poor and nearly 83% African-American population, making Detroit the nation's largest black-majority city.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing represents perhaps the biggest body blow yet to a faded city that's now home to barely 700,000 — down from a peak of 1.8 million during the auto industry boom years of the 1950s — and struggles to cope with the abandoned buildings and decaying municipal services.

The filing listed more than 100,000 creditors and more than $1 billion in estimated liabilities, but Orr has said Detroit's total financial responsibilities could be as high as $20 billion.

Because of the stakes involved, and the impact on residents statewide, as well as 30,000 current and retired city workers and Detroit's ability to stay in business, the case could be precedent setting in the federal judiciary. It could also set an important trajectory for the way troubled cities deal with shrinking populations, dwindling tax bases and large debts from municipal pension systems and government services.
.....
In April, Stockton became California's fourth city to seek bankruptcy protection since the national recession's start five years ago. There have been 36 municipal bankruptcy filings since January 2010, according to Governing Magazine. Two proceedings, in Harrisburg, Pa., and Boise County, Idaho, were dismissed.


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  #33  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:33 AM
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http://my.chicagotribune.com/#sectio.../p2p-76714069/

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Detroit has lost 25 percent of its population in the last decade, with just 700,000 residents remaining. The ranks of retirees outnumber the city's active workers by more than a 2-1 ratio. With a quarter of its buildings abandoned in some neighborhoods, no other American city has borne the brunt of deindustrialization so heavily.

In his July 16 letter to the governor making the case for a bankruptcy filing, Orr laid bare the scope of the city's decline.

"After decades of fiscal mismanagement; plummeting population, employment and revenues; decaying City infrastructure... Detroit today is a shell of the thriving metropolis that it once was," Orr wrote.

CITY RACES TO FILE

The historic municipal bankruptcy filing came less than 10 minutes before lawyers for the city's pension funds and retirees had rushed to another court to try to block it.

The bare bones bankruptcy petition, which came at 4:06:22 p.m., blindsided everyone in the room, according to two lawyers who were in state court in Lansing, Michigan, at the time. Even the lawyer representing the governor and the judge were caught unaware.

"I think everybody was surprised," said Bill Wertheimer, an attorney for a group of current and retired Detroit city workers who filed a lawsuit early this month to try to block any bankruptcy.

"The attorney general, he claimed to know nothing about it, like he was deaf, dumb and blind," said Wertheimer, who is paid by the United Auto Workers. "The judge was clearly taken aback."

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  #34  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:35 AM
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http://my.chicagotribune.com/#sectio.../?related=true

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Detroit's financial decline that led on Thursday to the biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy filing in the country's history can be traced back to the waning days of long-time Mayor Coleman Young's administration (1974-1993), when the city was already deep in debt and struggling with a budget deficit.

Both Young and the Michigan state treasurer raised concerns over potential bankruptcy. Moody's Investors Service cut the city's debt rating into junk in July 1992.

- Mayor Dennis Archer's administration (1994-2001) brought a mini-renaissance, as new developments, including casinos and baseball and football stadiums, bolstered the city's budget. Credit ratings rose to solid investment-grade levels.

- Budget deficits and late financial audits popped up during Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's term (2002-2008), prompting city officials to fret about a potential takeover by the state of Michigan. Credits ratings on some of the city's bonds fell again into the junk category.

- In September 2008, Kilpatrick left office after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges, and City Council President Kenneth Cockrel became interim mayor.

- Dave Bing won the May 5, 2009, election for mayor. The prospectus for a March 2010 Detroit bond sale aimed at reducing the city's $326 million cumulative deficit laid out bankruptcy risks for potential investors. All of the city's credit ratings were in the junk category.
....and it just goes on from there.
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  #35  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:36 AM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/us...nted=all&_r=1&

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From here, there is no road map for Detroit’s recovery, not least of all because municipal bankruptcies are rare. State officials said ordinary city business would carry on as before, even as city leaders take their case to a judge, first to prove that the city is so financially troubled as to be eligible for bankruptcy, and later to argue that Detroit’s creditors and representatives of city workers and municipal retirees ought to settle for less than they once expected.

Some bankruptcy experts and city leaders bemoaned the likely fallout from the filing, including the stigma. They anticipate further benefit cuts for city workers and retirees, more reductions in services for residents, and a detrimental effect on borrowing.

“For a struggling family I can see bankruptcy, but for a big city like this, can it really work?” said Diane Robinson, an office assistant who has worked for the city for 20 years. “What will happen to city retirees on fixed incomes?”

But others, including some Detroit business leaders who have seen a rise in private investment downtown despite the city’s larger struggles, said bankruptcy seemed the only choice left — and one that might finally lead to a desperately needed overhaul of city services and to a plan to pay off some reduced version of the overwhelming debts. In short, a new start.

“The worst thing we can do is ignore a problem,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We’re finally executing a fix.”

The decision to go to court signaled a breakdown after weeks of tense negotiations, in which Mr. Orr had been trying to persuade creditors to accept pennies on the dollar and unions to accept cuts in benefits.

All along, the state’s involvement — including Mr. Snyder’s decision to send in an emergency manager — has carried racial implications, setting off a wave of concerns for some in Detroit that the mostly white Republican-led state government was trying to seize control of Detroit, a Democratic city where more than 80 percent of residents are black.

The nature of Detroit’s situation ensures that it will be watched intensely by the municipal bond market, by public sector unions, and by leaders of other financially challenged cities around the country. Just over 60 cities, towns, villages and counties have filed under Chapter 9, the court proceeding used by municipalities, since the mid-1950s.

....
Mr. Orr has said that as part of any restructuring he wants to spend about $1.25 billion on improving city infrastructure and services. But a major concern for Detroit residents remains the possibility that services, already severely lacking, might be further diminished in bankruptcy.

About 40 percent of the city’s streetlights do not work, a report from Mr. Orr’s office showed. More than half of Detroit’s parks have closed since 2008.


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  #36  
Old 07-19-2013, 10:17 AM
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btw, in case you're curious, the appointment of the emergency manager has been criticized in racist terms, as in "Michigan Republicans don't want black people to govern their own communities."

ugh.
I don't think the word "governing" can be used to describe what Detroit politicians have done for the last 50 years.
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  #37  
Old 07-19-2013, 10:17 AM
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The ranks of retirees outnumber the city's active workers by more than a 2-1 ratio.
This is shocking.
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  #38  
Old 07-19-2013, 10:27 AM
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This is shocking.
Yeah, 2-1 is pretty bad, but more retirees than current employees is not that surprising, esp. if one can retire by age 50.


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...F7HJgvF1KIOSaO

Quote:
The mayor is right — but there’s another threat to the NYPD’s crime-fighting success, too. We now have more retired cops than active police officers, and the multibillion-dollar bill for their pension and health benefits harms our ability to hire new ones.

In December 2001, a month before Bloomberg took office, New York had 39,297 cops. Today, the city has 34,510 to protect us — and by the time the mayor leaves office in eight months, we’ll have 34,483 — a cut of nearly 5,000 pairs of eyes.

.....
We’ll spend more on cops’ benefits this year than on salaries. That’s partly because as of 2010 (the last number for which the secretive police pension fund has released details), the city was supporting 44,634 retired cops, up from 34,245 when the mayor took office.

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  #39  
Old 07-19-2013, 12:14 PM
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Via Mish:


That's from Gov. Snyder's approval of the bankruptcy filing

more here
http://unionwatch.org/detroit-files-...thers-on-deck/
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  #40  
Old 07-19-2013, 12:15 PM
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You would hope they could scan something in straight.
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