Detroit’s Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr is vowing more transparency and stressing the importance of supporting the proposed $816 million pension fund aid package.
As the city prepares to send out ballots for its restructuring plan, Orr says he’s weighing a future public meeting to help disseminate information to retirees “so they can understand this process.”
“We’re going to continue to put more information out to retirees..to the public at large so they can understand this,” Orr said.
The Grand Bargain
Orr added the so-called “grand bargain,” that includes pledges from the Detroit Institute of Arts and the state of Michigan, is critical.
“The grand bargain … it’s $816 million we didn’t have a few months ago,” Orr said. “It’s very important to hold onto this money with a grand bargain everyone can agree to.”
A hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on the city’s amended disclosure statement will happen on April 17. Ballots are expected to go out to 32,000 retirees and beneficiaries by May 1.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes has cautioned and advised that the city disperse a “plain English version” of the ballot for voters.
“We’re working on that now. We’re very aware … it’s pretty dense,” Orr said. “It takes a lot to slug through it. We’re very aware to the person on the street, they don’t do this day in, day out. They want something basic enough, straightforward enough, so they are comfortable with what’s going on out there.”
October 15th Target Date for Exiting Bankruptcy
The city has a target date of Oct. 15 to exit bankruptcy, which is about a month after it’s expected that the city’s mayor and the council will vote to remove Orr.
“I think there’s more than enough time to do what we have to get done,” he said. “If we don’t, shame on all of us.”
Source: Detroit News, Orr vows Detroit will help retirees understand bankruptcy plan, April 7, 2014