Sessions range from neighborhood revitalization to entrepreneurial strategies, from transit to economic diversification, from regionalism to small business success at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2014 Detroit Policy Conference held on Thursday, Feb. 27.
Next Chapter Detroit will be there and kick out updates all day long.
Meanwhile, Maggie DeSantis, executive director of Warren Conner Development Corp., gave audiences a preview of some of the discussions about neighborhoods when she dropped by The Craig Fahle Show on Feb. 26.
In advance of his first State of the City speech tonight, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has received a lot of proverbial ink. Here are a few pieces worth checking out:
WDET brings a bit of history about the State of the City with Mayor Dave Bing’s 2011-2013 and Kwame Kilpatrick’s 2008 addresses available.
As part of their America 360 Series on Detroit, The Atlantic and The National Journal profile Duggan and present a Q-and-A with him. “Nothing came easy for Duggan in his quest to become Detroit’s first white mayor in some 40 years,” they write in their introduction.
On Feb. 25, Duggan received the “Newsmaker of the Year” award from Crain’s Detroit Business. In his lunchtime speech, he urged the business community audience to help stop scrap metal theft and produce their executives as volunteers for city program and services.
We’ll have reaction on The Craig Fahle Show Thursday.
While experts, analysts and advocates were responding to Detroit’s Plan of Adjustment and determining what it means for pensions, city services, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the city’s future, a coalition of community groups crafted its own blueprint for Detroit.
Demanding “democracy, transparency and economic equity,” the group is proposing the “Peoples’ Alternative Plan: Toward a Sustainable Detroit.” It was released at a news conference Monday afternoon. It addresses democratic governance, financial structures and schools with a focus on children and families “rather than bureaucratic agendas.”
The coalition is calling for a plan based on “needs of the people” and rejecting what they call is a “banker-friendly” effort in Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan. The group also criticizes Orr’s work as being done behind closed doors “by lawyers who have no stake in the future of our city.”
One of the groups in the coalition is Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management. “Our goal is to support the people of Detroit not to strip the city to pay the banks,” D-REM’s Shea Howell said in a statement. “The Governor, his Emergency Manager and their race based, repressive plans are what stand in the way of Detroit’s revival. Our plan begins with the Detroit City Charter, a legal, democratically created document.”
-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda
@WDETSandra and email@example.com
Among Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s talking points on the city’s Plan of Adjustment and Disclosure Statement, filed Feb. 21, are a few messages about the future of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department:
*A proposed regional authority would be called the Great Lakes Water and Sewer Authority;
*Discussions have taken place for decades about regionalizing the water system;
*City and suburban leaders met Tuesday, Feb. 18 and made progress in their talks, which are continuing.
Which leads to the reasonable conclusion that Orr can’t be too happy about an article in today’s Macomb Daily based on a two-week-old memo leaked to a reporter. “Portions of the detailed, 11-page memo indicate that Oakland and Macomb leaders fear that they are being scammed,” Chad Selweski writes. (Incidentally, he doesn’t post the memo.)
The article trots out the predictable, nearly sensationalized suburban suspicions that seem to surround many things Detroit. In this case, they’re focused on the negotiations and proposals for what to do about DWSD. Have negotiations been perfect? Of course not. Environmental groups, for example, have called for more transparency and openness, and suburban leaders should be diligent about understanding a regional deal.
But Selweski quotes Macomb County Commissioner Jim Carabelli, a Shelby Township Republican, as saying “I’m a little appalled with the deal that’s on the table. It’s such a bad deal … (this) is some scary stuff.”
Scary? Yes, the bankruptcy is scary. The pensioners facing a 30 percent cut to their retirement payments would likely agree.
The memo, according to the Macomb Daily, reads, in part, “The DWSD … needs continuing, widespread reform – in financing, in operation and maintenance, in purchasing, in capital improvement, in technology, in personnel and labor optimization, and in service delivery.”
How about suburban leaders offer some constructive options for those goals instead of quips that rely on anti-Detroit sentiment?
-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda
@WDETSandra and firstname.lastname@example.org
Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes today issued a list of dates for hearings and deadlines related to the Detroit Bankruptcy and the city’s Plan of Adjustment.
Friday, Feb. 28: Deadline for Objections or Comments Regarding the Timeline
Friday, March 14: Deadline to request that the city include additional information in the Disclosure Statement
Friday, March 28: Deadline to file objections to the Plan of Adjustment or Disclosure Statement and to serve written discovery requests regarding the plan’s confirmation
Friday, April 4: Deadline for the City to file a response to objections to the Disclosure Statement
Wednesday, April 9: Deadline for attorneys with objections to “meet and confer” with City representatives
Friday, April 11: Deadline for City to file its combined response to objections to the plan
Monday, April 14: 9 a.m. hearing on unresolved objections to the Disclosure Statement and initial status conference on plan confirmation
Friday, April 18: Deadline to comply with written discovery requests
Monday April 28: 9 a.m. arguments on objections to the Plan of Adjustment that raise legal issues
Friday, May 9: Deadline to complete non-expert depositions and to designate expert witnesses and submit expert reports
Friday, May 23: Deadline to counter-designate experts and submit reports
Friday, June 6: Deadline to complete expert depositions
Tuesday, June 10: Deadline to submit pretrial briefs and proposed pretrial order
Wednesday, June 11: 9 a.m. Final pretrial conference on confirmation of the Plan of Adjustment
Monday, June 16: 9 a.m. Trial on confirmation of the Plan of Adjustment