When officials talk about the stakeholders in Detroit's bankruptcy they mention the creditors, pensioners, state, city, Mayor, DIA, Judge Rhodes and others. Very rarely do you hear anyone mention the citizens of Detroit. Recently a balanced budget was submitted for the upcoming year but there was no mention of where the city is going from there and what is the plan to get there. The Citizens of Detroit need to rise up to Judge Rhodes, Rick Snyder, Kevyn Orr, Mike Duggan and City Council and demand the same thing Cuba Gooding, Jr said to Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry Maguire... "Show Me The Money".In the case of the city it is "Show Us The Long Term Plan".The budget that was recently released reminds me of someone who is dying being taken off of life support without discussing how the patient is going to return to a "normal" life. It is time to show the citizens the plan. After reading a White Paper on Chapter 9 bankruptcy written by Jones Day, Detroit's lead bankruptcy attorney, it is my understanding that Judge Steven Rhodes cannot prevent the city from selling assets and using the funds to make needed improvements to the city in order to maintain and/or achieve a viable, flourishing municipality. "...a municipality does not need the approval of the bankruptcy court to use, sell, or lease property during its chapter 9 case...", An Overview of Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code: Municipal Debt Adjustments, Jones Day, August 2010
The same White Paper goes on to say,
"Of course, nonbankruptcy state or federal laws that otherwise regulate the process that municipalities must follow to take such actions would still apply."
It appears the state could block the sale of assets during a Chapter 9 bankruptcy but why would the Governor do that if it was in the best interest of the city and state?
The core objective of a long term plan must be to promptly grow the middle class population in Detroit. The basic necessities of a middle class include safety of family, quality and affordable housing and a better than average primary and secondary public school system. Without these attributes the city has no chance of returning to normalcy let alone prosperity.
The assets to be used to accomplish the plan are stored at the DIA. Let's put them to work for the city of Detroit and its citizens.