Category: News Briefs Written by News One
Detroit recently hired a new police chief.
But if Chief James Craig was expecting a honeymoon period, he was sadly mistaken. Fox 2 News Detroit reports that 13 people were shot within a 24-hour period. Though, during a press conference this week, the department failed to mention it, according to Fox 2 News.
In fact, when a reporter asked about the high number of shootings during a press conferece, a police department spokesperson shut it down. For some reason, asking about crime numbers seemed to be a bit of an issue.
It’s something that Detroit Police Commission Chairman Rev. Jerome Warfield says he wants to change.
“Part of community policing is to arm the community with as much information as you can give them in order [that] they may look out for you,” Warfield said. “If these type of activities are going on, then the community can coalesce and come together and then be able to help the police in their job.”
The most recent shooting involved the death of 54-year-old Almeter...
Last Updated on Saturday, 18 May 2013 21:47
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, disappointed and angered by the withdrawal of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from a Detroit hearing on foreclosures, will proceed with plans to co-host the May 20 event. “This was our chance for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to listen and learn about how destructive their policy of foreclosure and eviction is for metro Detroit,” says Estrada, who anticipates spirited testimony at the People’s Hearing. “They need to see and hear the evidence that their policies are hurting working families and undermining neighborhoods.”
Following two months of discussion and planning, the federal agencies have withdrawn from the hearing at the direction of legal counsel, claiming-- at the 11th hour-- that it would be “awkward” for officials to hear testimony from homeowners who are in litigation fighting eviction by Fannie or Freddie.
Throughout the planning process, organizers of the event provided full disclosure of the anticipated agenda and details of the public hearing. Officials from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the failing mortgage investors taken over by the federal government in 2008, agreed in March to come to Detroit and hear testimony from homeowners, union members, and community leaders about the foreclosure crisis. Fannie and Freddie, which own or insure more than half of all residential mortgages in the country, have foreclosed on more than 15,000 families in Wayne County since the government takeover by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA). Thousands more have lost their homes in Oakland and Macomb.
Fannie and Freddie have declared a moratorium on foreclosures in areas stricken by Hurricane Sandy. Estrada and organizers from Detroit Eviction Defense argue that they should do the same for Metro Detroit, flattened by banking fraud, mass unemployment, and the resulting storm surge of foreclosures. They are also calling on Fannie and Freddie to reverse their current policy of refusing to lower the principal on “underwater” loans where the balance owed is higher than the plummeting market value of the home.
Testimony at the May 20 hearing will be videoed, and organizers vow to hand-deliver the recording to federal officials. “The UAW sees the fight to halt foreclosures as part of its historic commitment to social justice for all working families,” said Estrada. FHFA officials have committed to scheduling a discussion with UAW representatives, community leaders, and public officials as soon as possible to review policy alternatives specific to the Detroit area.
A new report, “A Hurricane Without Water: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Foreclosure Crisis in Metro Detroit,” will be available at the hearing and at http://www.detroitevictiondefense.com/
Last Updated on Friday, 17 May 2013 11:13
Category: News Briefs Written by News One
A 64-year-old Detroit man is recovering at a local hospital after he was viciously stabbed at a gas station.
The unidentified victim spoke to Fox 2 News Detroit about the attack that took place around 5 a.m. He says he was approached by a would-be-thief who demanded money. Soon after the demand, the attack began. At first, the thief began punching him. Then the punches turned to stabbing and continued until he passed out.
“I didn’t realize that I was bleeding until I hit the floor,” he said. “All the blood started coming out and I got real weak and I couldn’t move.”
The victim was left with stab wounds in his chest and abdomen. He is expected to recovery, but may have to undergo surgery Friday. Police said they’ve arrested a 27-year old Detroit man who lived near the gas station where the attack took place. He’s expected to be arraigned Friday....
Last Updated on Friday, 17 May 2013 07:22
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today issued the following statement regarding the decision of Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts to postpone his May 16 retirement and continue serving in his current capacity for up to six more months:
“Roy’s devotion to the students, families and teachers of Detroit Public Schools has been apparent since his appointment in 2011. His willingness to delay his personal plans and continue providing critical vision and leadership to the district for the next six months underscores that commitment.
“The school district is making strides and that’s due to the partnership between Roy and the community. Working as a team, they have delivered consecutive balanced budgets for the district and significantly reduced its legacy deficit, all of which builds a stronger educational foundation for DPS students. While much work remains, there’s no doubt that the district is moving in the right direction.
“As the school year winds down, it is important that students stay on a steady course. Roy’s continued guidance will guarantee that essential continuity. I appreciate all that he has done for Detroit’s school children and welcome his decision to remain at the district’s helm for the next few weeks and months to ensure a smooth, effective leadership transition.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 13:38
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by michigan Chronicle Staff
Funding Provided for Inspection of Aerial Ladders, Ground Ladders
DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced today that AAA Michigan will donate $23,500 to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation to pay for the inspection of 20 aerial ladders and 4,600 feet of ground ladders used by the Detroit Fire Department (DFD). The gift is the latest in a recent series of recent corporate donations in support of the City of Detroit’s public safety operations.
“Once again, one of Detroit’s corporate citizens has come forward and generously shown its support for our public safety operations, our first responders and our citizens,” Mayor Bing said. “The proper inspection of our fire department’s aerial ladders and ground ladders was a critical need that AAA Michigan has graciously met. I appreciate the leadership and continued concern for public safety that AAA has demonstrated with this gift.”
"Our history of supporting the community dates back nearly a century," said AAA Michigan President Steve Wagner. "We are very pleased to present the Detroit Fire Department with this grant, which we know will help save lives."
The ladder inspections are required to keep DFD equipment in compliance with standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an independent organization that establishes fire safety codes and regulations for various industries and the firefighting profession. Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin ordered last February that until a full inspection of the entire ladder fleet is completed, DFD will not engage in manned aerial ladder operations -- unless there is an immediate threat to life. In cases where a manned ladder must be used, every effort will be made to properly support the ladder. DFD continues to use unmanned aerial ladders as “water towers” to fight large fires.
“We are grateful for AAA’s generous donation,” Commissioner Austin said. “Aerial ladders can place firefighters 100 feet above ground, often with large amounts of water flowing under high pressure. Because of the tremendous stress placed on ladders, regular testing is needed to find the smallest stress fractures and metal fatigue. Completing the testing of our aerial and ground ladders will go a long way toward ensuring the safety of Detroit’s citizens and firefighters.”
AAA Michigan, with 1.5 million members, is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services to approximately 8.8 million members. AAA Michigan partners with civic and community groups and traffic safety organizations to improve neighborhoods and promote traffic safety through such programs as the AAA School Safety Patrol.
The Detroit Public Safety Foundation was formed in 2011 to support the Detroit Police and Fire departments. Mayor Bing’s Active and Safe Campaign, launched last fall, has a similar mission of supporting Detroit’s public safety and recreational programs. In March, the corporate community pledged $8 million to the public safety component of the Active and Safe Campaign. The money is being used to acquire 23 new ambulances for the Detroit Fire Department’s EMS unit and 100 new patrol cars for the Detroit Police Department. To date, a total of $22 million has been raised toward the $60 million goal of the three-year campaign.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 12:14
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
With a little less than two weeks to go before the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix takes over the Motor City’s famed island park for three days of fun, excitement and racing, preparations for the fast and furious event are on schedule, according to Grand Prix officials. The event, which will be held from May 31– June 2, is expected to draw more than 100,000-plus fans and will garner a national television audience of millions.
Grand Prix officials are working long days to assure that the event is entertaining and memorable as some of the world’s greatest race drivers will compete in some of the world’s most powerful and fastest cars. “We are moving forward,” said Charles Burns, general manager for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “We are getting geared up for a first-class event. Roger Penske and Bud Denker (event chairman) have set the standard for excellence, and we have a great team that really wants to perform well and showcase the Grand Prix, Belle Isle, and the city of Detroit. So we are staying on top of all the details and preparations necessary to make this event successful.”
Staying on top of details has included a recent long drive from Detroit to Birmingham, Alabama for Burns. “Two of the three racing series that will be held on Detroit’s Belle Isle will be held at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham this weekend (April 5-7), said Burns, via cell phone, as he motored towards Birmingham. “So I’m going down to Birmingham to talk with officials from both series about some logistical things that we have to work through. In addition, I want to spread the good word down there about our great event on Belle Isle which is right around the corner.”
This year’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will feature the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans featuring the cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers with the sports cars of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series, and the Cadillac V-Series Challenge presented by the Metro Detroit Cadillac Dealers featuring the cars of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series. ABC will nationally televise the IndyCar races on Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to the various racing series, Grand Prix attendees will be entertained by national recording acts. On Friday, Detroit’s own Dwele will showcase his vocal talents on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage as part of the Free Prix Day at the Grand Prix. On that Friday, everyone will be admitted to the Raceway at Belle Isle Park free of charge. “Dwele is a true Detroit success story and we’re very excited to bring his unique sound to the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage on Friday night at the Grand Prix,” said Bud Denker, chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “With some great action on track Friday and Dwele highlighting a strong entertainment lineup, fans will have a terrific experience on Free Prix Day.” Dwele’s performance will follow a full opening day of track activity featuring practice and qualifying for the IZOD IndyCar Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, and the Pirelli World Challenge Series on the newly-configured 2.3-mile Belle Isle street circuit.
The MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage at the Grand Prix will also welcome rock icon Bret Michaels on Saturday evening and modern-rock band Plain White T’s on Sunday afternoon. Several other local artists will also perform on the stage throughout the weekend. Burns added that there will be something at the Grand Prix for everyone, including the Meijer Family Fun Zone and the Quicken Loans Go-Kart Track. He also said there will be some events beginning the Tuesday before the Grand Prix weekend. Stay tuned!
For Burns, Detroit has made a great impression on the West Lafayette, Indiana native. “I love Detroit,” said Burns, who moved to the Motor City last year. “There are so many positive things going on that the world doesn’t know about. When Roger Penske and Bud Denker offered me the opportunity to come to Detroit as the general manager for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, it was a no brainer. I saw it as an opportunity to come to a great city and work with an outstanding company (Penske Corporation) and a team of individuals committed to not only making the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix successful, but also committed to making Detroit a better place.
“We are all working long hours, but it has been great. It will be so special and rewarding to see our fans smile and having a grand time when they get to the island and witness all of the wonderful events and activities connected to this year’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:07
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michael Cottman
Tension is mounting at Morehouse College.
As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver a commencement address at Morehouse, a prominent Philadelphia minister who wrote a scathing critique of Obama now says he is been disinvited to speak at Morehouse one day before Obama is scheduled to speak on May 18.
Rev. Kevin Johnson, senior pastor of the Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, is embroiled in a growing controversy following a blistering editorial he wrote in The Philadelphia Tribune titled “A President for Everyone. Except Black People.”
“Given the president’s poor record in catapulting an economic and empowerment agenda for the African-American community, we must begin asking the questions, Why are we so loyal to a president who is not loyal to us?” Johnson wrote last month.
“To my disappointment, the president has not only failed the Black community, but also has failed to surround himself with qualified African- Americans who could develop policies to help the most disenfranchised.
“Indeed, if we objectively look at Obama’s presidency, African-Americans are in a worse position than they were before he became president.”
Johnson had been invited to deliver a baccalaureate address at Morehouse one day before Obama’s address, but after reading Johnson’s editorial, Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. — who previously headed the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities — told Johnson that he had decided to change Johnson’s address into a “multi-speaker” event to include three speakers.
“As president, I believe this is in the best interest of the college,” Wilson wrote on the Morehouse website. “In this instance, I decided to ask this invited speaker to share the Baccalaureate stage with two other speakers so as to reflect a broader and more inclusive range of viewpoints.”
Some Black professionals say Wilson is scolding Johnson for criticizing Obama because Obama is Wilson’s former boss. But one Black minister says Johnson is entitled to free speech and should not be punished for stating his political views.
“In an academic institution, it’s the wrong message to send graduating seniors who are going out into a diverse world,” Rev. Delman Coates, a Maryland pastor, told USA Today. “If Martin Luther King Jr. could challenge Lyndon Baines Johnson on the Vietnam War after Johnson won the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act, then why should a distinguished alumnus of Morehouse College not raise pointed questions about the Obama administration?”
Johnson’s controversial editorial criticizing Obama comes as some Black Washington, D.C. residents have whispered their frustrations about a White House they consider too White. And in some Black circles, Johnson’s column has caused some Black leaders consternation over the issue of racial diversity in the White House.
“What we’re looking for is a government that, at a minimum, has been better than any other president has ever been on diversity,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, told Politico. “He’s not there yet, even though he’s African-American.”
But Johnson used harsher words to make a similar point.
“For me, the absence of African-Americans in a second term is not only disrespectful to the Black community, who voted 96 percent for President Obama in 2008 and 93 percent in 2012, but also underscores a larger problem of economic and job opportunities for the Black community,” Johnson wrote.
Last week, however, Obama nominated Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to become secretary of transportation and Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Both men are African- American.
And Valerie Jarrett, the president’s senior adviser, spoke passionately earlier this year about Obama’s ambitious goal to rehabilitate 20 poor communities across the country where Black people have struggled for years.
Speaking to Black journalists in February, Jarrett said the plan to renovate some of the nation’s most devastated Black neighborhoods is part of a broad strategy to help improve the quality of life for many Black Americans and includes Obama focusing on a myriad of challenges facing young Black men as he begins his second term in the White House.
When asked about the president’s perceived reluctance to discuss race publicly, Jarrett said the White House plans to do a better job communicating its social and economic policies to the Black community.
“We’re not afraid to say this is going to help Black people,” Jarrett said during a White House interview.
Obama also traveled to the South Side of Chicago in February where he spoke to 16 Black male students at Hyde Park Academy High School who are growing up poor, troubled and some without fathers.
“This is very personal for him because he didn’t have a father,” Jarrett said of the president. “He was raised by a single mom so he knows the challenges.”
Some Morehouse alumni are calling on Wilson to honor his original terms and allow Rev. Johnson to be the only speaker during the baccalaureate event at the historically Black college in Atlanta.
“If President Wilson turns his back on one of our most distinguished alums because of an exercise of free speech and political commentary, he will have set Morehouse on a dangerous course and departed from the great tradition bequeathed to us,” Amos Brown, a Morehouse graduate and senior pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Obama’s speech at Morehouse also comes as four Morehouse College athletes were arrested in March and charged in connection with two separate sexual assaults. Three of the students – all Black men — were charged in an alleged on-campus incident prior to spring break. The fourth was charged in a different case off campus.
And while Obama is poised to speak at Morehouse, many African- Americans in Atlanta remain focused on Rev. Johnson’s blunt criticism of the president.
“When one compares the first African-American president to his recent predecessors,” Johnson wrote, “the number of African-Americans in senior Cabinet positions is very disappointing.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 02:16
Category: News Briefs Written by CNN News
Washington (CNN) -- A common benchmark in the United States for determining when a driver is legally drunk is not doing enough to prevent alcohol-related crashes that kill about 10,000 people each year and should be made more restrictive, transportation safety investigators say.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommended on Tuesday that all 50 states adopt a blood-alcohol content (BAC) cutoff of 0.05 compared to the 0.08 standard on the books today and used by law enforcement and the courts to prosecute drunk driving.
"Most Americans think that we've solved the problem of impaired driving, but in fact, it's still a national epidemic," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said.
The idea for a tighter standard is part of a safety board initiative outlined in a staff report and approved by the panel to eventually eliminate drunk driving, which accounts for about a third of all road deaths in the United States.
Hersman said progress has been made over the years to reduce drunk driving, including a range of federal and state policies, tougher law enforcement, and stronger advocacy. But she said too many people are still dying on America's roads.
The board acknowledged that there was "no silver bullet," but that more action is needed at the federal and state levels.
"In the last 30 years, more than 440,000 people have perished in this country due to alcohol-impaired driving. What will be our legacy 30 years from now?" Hersman asked. "If we don't tackle alcohol-impaired driving now, when will we find the will to do so?"
Lowering the rate to 0.05 would save about 500 to 800 lives annually, the safety board said.
Under current law, a 180-pound male typically will hit the 0.08 threshold after four drinks over an hour, according to an online blood alcohol calculator published by the University of Oklahoma. That same person could reach the 0.05 threshold after two to three drinks over the same period, according to the calculator.
Many factors besides gender and weight influence a person's blood alcohol content, and many states outlaw lower levels of inebriation when behind the wheel.
The NTSB investigates transportation accidents and advocates on safety issues. It cannot impose its will through regulation and can only recommend changes to federal and state agencies or legislatures, including Congress.
But the independent agency is influential on matters of public safety and its decisions can spur action from like-minded legislators and transportation agencies nationwide. States set their own BAC standards.
The board also recommended on Tuesday that states vastly expand laws allowing police to swiftly confiscate licenses from drivers who exceed the blood alcohol limits.
And it is pushing for laws requiring all first-time offenders to have ignition locking devices that prevent cars from starting until breath samples are analyzed.
In the early 1980s, when grass-roots safety groups brought attention to drunk driving, many states required a 0.15 BAC rate to demonstrated intoxication.
But over the next 24 years, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other groups pushed states to adopt the 0.08 BAC standard, the last state falling in line in 2004.
The number of alcohol-related highway fatalities, meanwhile, dropped from 20,000 in 1980 to 9,878 in 2011, the NTSB said.
Drunk-drive blood tests divide Supreme Court
In recent years, about 31 percent of all fatal highway accidents were attributed to alcohol impairment, the NTSB said.
"I think .05 is going to come. How long it takes to get there, we don't know. But it will happen," said the NTSB's Robert Molloy, who helped guide the staff report.
For some, the vote struck close to home.
NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt noted that one of his relatives had been killed by a drunk driver and another is serving a 15-year sentence in a related death.
Many of the recommendations "are going to be unpopular," Sumwalt said. "But if we keep doing what we're doing, we're not going to make any difference."
The NTSB cited research that showed most drivers experience a decline in both cognitive and visual functions with a BAC of 0.05.
Currently, more than 100 countries on six continents have BAC limits set at 0.05 or lower, the safety board said.
The NTSB has asked all 50 states to do the same.
A restaurant trade association, the American Beverage Institute, attacked the main recommendation, saying the average woman reaches 0.05 percent BAC after consuming one drink. The group said it based that conclusion on a chart it said was used by auto safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
But NHTSA told CNN on Tuesday it no longer uses that chart "as there are many variables" that contribute to an individual's level of intoxication. A new NHTSA chart shows a person with a 0.05 BAC level experiences "reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, (and) reduced response to emergency driving situations."
A beer industry trade group said it would examine NTSB's recommendation for lowering the blood-alcohol threshold.
"However, we strongly encourage policymakers to direct their efforts where we know we can get results: by focusing on repeat offenders and increasing penalties on those with BAC of (0.15) or more," said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute.
The safety board also recommend that NHTSA provide financial incentives to states to carry out the changes.
NHTSA, which oversees highway safety as a federal regulator and analyzes traffic crash data, said it would work with any state that wants to pursue a lower BAC standard to "gather further information on that approach."
At Tuesday's meeting, the safety board also championed laws allowing police to confiscate a motorist's license at the time of arrest if the driver exceeds a BAC limit, or refuses to take the BAC test.
Some 40 states already use the administrative tool, which the NTSB believes is effective because it is swift and immediate.
And the board recommended more widespread use of passive alcohol sensors, which police can use to "sniff" the air during a traffic stop to determine the presence of alcohol.
The sensor is capable of detecting alcohol even in cases where the driver has attempted to disguise his breathe with gum or mints. If the sensor alerts, it is grounds for more thorough testing.
The NTSB recommended last December that states require ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders and said states should improve interlock compliance.
Tuesday's recommendations were timed to coincide with the deadliest alcohol-related crash in U.S. history. On May 14, 1988, a drunk driver drove his pickup the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Kentucky. The truck hit a school bus, killing 24 children and three adults. More than 30 others were hurt.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:04
Category: News Briefs Written by The Grand Report
A chance meeting at an athletics track has led to two 17-year-old girls discovering that they are in fact long lost sisters. Jordan and Robin were born just nine months apart. Jordan was adopted shortly after birth, while Robin initially lived with her biological mother before being taken into foster care and eventually living with a legal guardian.
Although both lived in Washington D.C., played some of the same sports, and attended schools just minutes apart their paths never crossed until that fateful day in January. At the track meeting, friends of Jordan told her there was another girl at the event who looked just like her.
The two girls started talking and before long Jordan was crying after finding out that Robin’s last name was Jeter.
‘I had already known about my adoption and I knew my last name was Jeter,’ Jordan told USAToday. That night the two girls talked on the phone and compared birth certificates in an attempt to work out if they really could be sisters.
Last Updated on Monday, 13 May 2013 09:46
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Kevyn Orr, the man charged with bringing Detroit back to financial stability said he is surprised at the numbers that will be released on Monday when the Emergency Financial Manager discloses his operating financial plan to the state and the public. The plan is coming out barely two months after Orr took over at city hall to right the financial ship of Detroit's local government whose debt obligations are in the billions.
Orr, during an exclusive interview with the Michigan Chronicle’s Bankole Thompson ahead of Monday's announcement said the city is in the first steps of a very long journey and the numbers are what they are.
“First thing you are going to see is sort of a fair snap shot of what we’ve been able to discern from sort of a document of the city as to the city’s financial status. My operating financial plan is coming out on Monday,” Orr said. “The plan is going to be sort of an analysis of the best information we have available as what the city’s condition is. I think it is fair to say at least my initial perception is that our debt service and debt obligation is probably worse than we’ve expected. To put it in a vernacular we are deeper in a hole than I thought we were.”
Since Orr took over the reigns of government in Detroit after Gov. Rick Snyder named him emergency manager, many have been waiting to see what “bold” steps would be taken to get the city on a path to financial recovery.
Even though his presence is still being protested by some who disagreed that Detroit does not need an emergency manager, a sentiment that rings true with some of the city’s civil rights activists, Orr in the interview said the numbers about the city’s situation cannot be debated.
“It just means that the numbers are going to be bigger than have previously been discussed. It means that the challenges and negotiations with the interested parties are probably going to be a little bit more intense because it’s more at stake,” Orr said. “There’s more money on the table. There is more attention. Our revenue projections are precarious.”
He said historically for instance some of the way the city has budgeted, taken on a debt to try to make a balance budget while deferring payments with some obligations to make for financial shortfalls did not help matters.
“When I say it’s worse than expected, if the city were to try to run and meet its debt obligations on an ongoing forward basis- based on what it takes in revenue fees and other incomes and balance that against what it’s obligations are paid in the in the ordinary cause that would be very challenging,” Orr said.
The million-dollar question is whether the parties tied to the financial wellbeing of the city including labor, creditors and others can negotiate a plan or reach an agreement?
Orr when he was introduced to the public during a press conference with Gov. Snyder sounded a reconciliatory note saying he believes parties of good faith can negotiate in good faith.
Asked if he still believes that after Monday’s report is announced, he said yes.
“I really do and this is why I mentioned the financial operating plan. I’m going to be fully open with everything. That includes labor, debt holders, citizens, elected officials and the press. Let’s just get it all out there the best we can,” Orr said. “Nobody really can debate the numbers. They are what they are. The math is the math. So now the next step becomes what are we going to do about it. I’m assuming rational behavior that everybody wants to get the city to a position that is both on a sustainable path, a path for growth and a healthier going forward financial practice.”
Last Updated on Monday, 13 May 2013 11:15
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