Rogue Pension System? Former City of Detroit Finance Director Sean Werdlow late last week at a municipal bankruptcy symposium defended a controversial 2005 pension agreement that increased the city’s long-term debt load, likely accelerating the city’s path into insolvency, but Mr. Werdlow, instead, asserted that without the agreement to issue pension bonds, Detroit would have filed for bankruptcy years ago. Continue reading


R-o-l-a-i-d-s. Northern Alabama Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas Bennett late yesterday cleared Jefferson County, Ala., to exit Chapter 9 protection with a plan that cuts its $3.1 billion sewer debt nearly in half but places a heavy repayment burden on residents for decades to come and carves out a unique role for the U.S. bankruptcy court. Continue reading


Motor City: With U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes expected to render his decision on Detroit’s eligibility for chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy as early as today or tomorrow, the related costs to the city, its taxpayers, its employees, Continue reading

Podcast- Lessons to be Learned from Detroit and Other Municipalities in Distress

Check out Frank Shafroth talking to Kara Bruce from the American Bankruptcy Institute on lessons to be learned from the current state of municipal fiscal distress. Shafroth talks about the study done by George Mason University’s State and Local Government Leadership Center titled “The Great Challenge Facing America’s Cities”. The study examines the financial situations of Detroit, Chicago, San Bernardino, Calif., Pittsburgh, Providence, R.I. and Baltimore to provide insights for municipalities that may face financial struggles in the future.

Follow this link to hear the Podcast: http://news.abi.org/podcasts/140-lessons-to-be-learned-from-detroit-and-other-municipalities-in-distress


Motor City: With U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes expected to render his decision with regard to Detroit’s eligibility for bankruptcy any day, Continue reading


Motor City: Let There Be Light. The new Detroit Public Lighting Authority has commenced a three-year plan to rebuild Detroit’s street-lighting system Continue reading


Motor City Transition & Power Sharing: Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr yesterday gave approval to a request from Mayor-elect Mike Duggan Continue reading