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Detroit Rising: Life after bankruptcy

Detroit Rising: Life after bankruptcy
One year after a federal judge approves Detroit's bankruptcy exit plan, progress has been made while looming challenges remain, especially city pensions The City of Detroit has more than enough cash to pay its daily bills. Thousands of busted streetlights have been replaced. City retirees still receive pension checks, and valuable paintings remain ensconced in the gilded halls of the Detroit Institute of Arts. That's the good news. But a year after a federal judge approved a cost-cutting and reinvestment plan in the nation's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy case, Detroit's financial future still hangs in the balance. Among the greatest concerns: a multibillion-dollar pension bill that starts coming due in less than a decade. The city is on the hook to make a balloon pension payment estimated at more than $100 million in 2024 alone. So far, the early returns for the investments since the bankruptcy are falling short. It was officially known as a plan of adjustment. None came true. Peter J.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/detroit-reborn/2015/11/08/detroit-rising-life-after-bankruptcy/75085252/

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How Can Detroit Bounce Back After Bankruptcy? – ThinkProgress Detroit’s bankruptcy process could take a year or more. But development experts who focus on the Great Lakes region say the city and the nation must get smart about its medium-term future now. If state, local, and national policymakers work together to take advantage of its geography and industrial infrastructure, while recognizing that it must consolidate, the future can be bright. Detroit’s geography will play a crucial role because the city sits on the border with America’s largest trading partner. “There are lots of advantages: access to the Canadian market, importance as a transport center for goods,” said Thomas Sugrue, a professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and the author the book on Detroit The Origins of the Urban Crisis. The city will also have to shrink to be strong.

9 ways Detroit is changing after bankruptcy When Detroit filed for bankruptcy last July, observers around the world were shocked by how far some city services had deteriorated -- though it was no secret to residents. Average police response times clocked in at almost an hour. Tens of thousands of broken streetlights meant entire streets go dark at nightfall. And though Detroit has more than 200 municipal parks, the city could only afford to keep about a quarter of them open. How has the city changed since it entered bankruptcy? How Detroit went broke: The answers may surprise you — and don't blame Coleman Young Originally published Sept. 15, 2013 Detroit is broke, but it didn’t have to be. An in-depth Free Press analysis of the city’s financial history back to the 1950s shows that its elected officials and others charged with managing its finances repeatedly failed — or refused — to make the tough economic and political decisions that might have saved the city from financial ruin. Instead, amid a huge exodus of residents, plummeting tax revenues and skyrocketing home abandonment, Detroit’s leaders engaged in a billion-dollar borrowing binge, created new taxes and failed to cut expenses when they needed to. Simultaneously, they gifted workers and retirees with generous bonuses.

Fewest cops are patrolling Detroit streets since 1920s Detroit — There are fewer police officers patrolling the city than at any time since the 1920s, a manpower shortage that sometimes leaves precincts with only one squad car, posing what some say is a danger to cops and residents. Detroit has lost nearly half its patrol officers since 2000; ranks have shrunk by 37 percent in the past three years, as officers retired or bolted for other police departments amid the city's bankruptcy and cuts to pay and benefits. Left behind are 1,590 officers — the lowest since Detroit beefed up its police force to battle Prohibition bootleggers. "This is a crisis, and the dam is going to break," said Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association. "It's a Catch-22: I know the city is broke, but we're not going to be able to build up a tax base of residents and businesses until we can provide a safe environment for them." Police Chief James Craig acknowledges he doesn't have as many officers as he'd like.

Manufacturing Bankruptcy PENSION THEFT: IMPORTED from Detroit? In giving the state-appointed Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr the green light to take the city into bankruptcy, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes’ December 3 ruling opens up a national offensive to loot public sector workers’ pension and health care benefits. Within a week Forbes magazine, aimed at audiences who don’t rely on public sector pensions for their secure retirement, published an article proclaiming “a silver lining” to be found in the ruling.

Detroit's biggest crime problem: Lack of police, poll finds Detroit — Detroiters overwhelmingly feel the biggest contributor to crime is a lack of police on the streets — and they'd gladly pay more taxes to hire more officers, according to a poll commissioned by The Detroit News and funded by the Thompson Foundation. The finding comes weeks after the City Council refused to put a measure on the ballot to do so. The poll found that 49 percent of residents don't feel safe in their neighborhoods. The results cross most income and gender lines, but generally those who make more money feel safer in their neighborhoods.

Detroit budget proposal has deficit up to $380 million, remains unapproved by emergency ma Mayor Dave Bing presents his fiscal 2013 budget to City Council on Friday, April 12, 2013. (Screengrab from public video) DETROIT, MI -- Mayor Dave Bing presented his proposed budget to City Council on Friday, proposing cuts to City Council staff, keeping furloughs in place and leaving many positions in various departments unfilled. But the city's budget deficit under the plan will rise from $327 to $380, the mayor said. Chief Financial Officer Jack Martin said the city's deficit is increasing a lower rate and that he expects to start seeing a reduction next year. Murders, shootings increase in Detroit in first quarter of 2017 It has been a violent start to 2017 in Detroit. Murders and shootings spiked in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to crime records first reported this morning by Steve Hood on the 910AM Superstation. The city recorded 66 homicides from Jan. 1 to March 26, a 14% increase over the same period in 2016.

How Detroit Leaders Ignored Causes of Bankruptcy for 65 Years By Lew Mandell The signs of Detroit’s decline have been well-recognized for 65 years. Photo courtesy of Spencer Platt/Getty Images. For the past few months, Lew Mandell, author of “What to Do When I Get Stupid,” has been our retirement finance guru. He’s addressed multiple ways to close the retirement income gap, encouraging boomers to plan ahead before they lose their financial faculties to old age.

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