Officials in Puerto Rico are hearing from Detroit’s former bankruptcy judge about how Chapter 9 works and how it allowed Detroit to restructure its debt, including pensions. Now-retired Judge Steven Rhodes is advising the Commonwealth about federal bankruptcy law. With its roughly $70 billion in bond debt and $35 billion in unfunded pension obligations, Puerto Rico has nearly five times the obligations Detroit did when the city filed for bankruptcy two years ago. Rhodes spoke with WDET's Sandra Svoboda.
The famed Mackinac Policy Conference is put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber, so it’s not surprising the city is a central focus of the conference agenda. Of course, there’s also that Southeast Michigan is the state’s major population and economic center, and that Detroit wrapped up history’s biggest municipal bankruptcy case just a few months ago. Some of the major players in the Chapter 9 are on the Island again, and what they’re saying this year is a bit different than what they brought to the stage last year. Here’s a look at what some of bankruptcy’s biggest players said at the 2014 event and where things stand now.
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes and Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen appeared together to receive awards from Goodwill Industries. The nonprofit agency also honored the 12 foundations that chipped in for the grand bargain. As the men were honored at the lunchtime event, held at the Detroit Athletic Club, they made brief remarks. Here are the highlights.
Officials in Puerto Rico are hearing from Detroit’s former bankruptcy judge about how Chapter 9 works and how it allowed Detroit to restructure its debt, including pensions. Now-retired Judge Steven Rhodes is advising the Commonwealth about federal bankruptcy law. With its roughly $70 billion in bond debt and $35 billion in unfunded pension obligations, Puerto Rico has nearly five times the obligations Detroit did when the city filed for bankruptcy two years ago. Rhodes spoke with WDET’s Sandra Svoboda.
One state legislator says the process of creating a regional authority to manage southeast Michigan’s water needs to start from scratch. Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek reports State Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth Township) says the arrangement is “not a real authority”—because only the state legislature can create such arrangements. Heise plans to re-introduce legislation to create a new authority.
It’s official: Detroit and the suburbs have struck a water deal. Leaders voted to let Detroit lease its massive, crumbling water and sewer system to a new, regional board called the Great Lakes Water Authority. The deal was originally cooked up as part of Detroit’s bankruptcy, as a way for the city to fix its water system – which is in serious need of expensive improvements – and for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to pay down what it owes the city’s retirees. Here’s Michigan Radio’s story about the agreement and the issues that remain.
The new Great Lakes Water Authority is leasing Detroit’s pipeline system which provides water to most of southeastern Michigan. By every account it’s an historic bit of cooperation in a tri-county area where officials spent decades battling over water rates. But not everyone’s a fan. Macomb County voted against creating the authority. County Executive Mark Hackel tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter that the new water authority is mainly a device to help keep Detroit out of bankruptcy, one he says will result in tens of millions of dollars in rate hikes.
After decades of acrimony, Detroit and suburban officials have formally agreed to create a regional water authority. The memo of understanding was signed during the bankruptcy trial, but this week, the lease agreement was signed. Detroit leaders say the deal will allow the city to improve water service and give all stakeholders a voice in setting water rates.
Writing in The Detroit News, Detroit’s former emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is heralding the mediation process used in the bankruptcy case to settle debts with creditors. Sunday is the deadline for a lease agreement as part of the new Great Lakes Water Authority, but as of now, leaders of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties have […]
The chief mediator in Detroit’s bankruptcy case says he’s hoping that the city of Detroit and counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb soon finalize the Great Lakes Water Authority. Will leaders meet the June 14th deadline?
AboutNext Chapter Detroit is a place to explore and understand the city’s bankruptcy, its impact on people and neighborhoods and its long-term implications. Powered by coverage and conversations from the media outlets of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, the site provides fact-based reporting from trusted sources and opportunities for citizen engagement.
WDET’s Sandra Svoboda is your site guide. A veteran Detroit journalist and 24-year area resident, she’ll share stories, add insight and ask questions to help decode the bankruptcy process and the city’s restructuring.