June 6, 2014

Detroit Sell Art Improve Schools

Why is the agreement just approved by Detroit’s city counsel called the Grand Bargain considered so Grand? It seems the city is potentially trading $15 billion in art for under $1 billion and makes no sense.

Granted all of the art has not been valued and it has not been ascertained whether the city has authority to sell the art because of certain clauses that may have been included in the documents executed at the time the donor contributed it to the city. Logic dictates nothing should be finalized until these issues are resolved.

Some claim the value of the art is no where close to $15 billion. Again let’s wait and see. The valuation ordered by Kevyn Orr will provide a better understanding. I am sure there are many, like myself, who recall a $10 to $15 billion figure being tossed around as stated in this article Should The DIA Be Renting A Moving Van, which quotes Nolan Finley of the Detroit News saying,
"Christie’s, the New York auction house, is assessing the collection. If the value is pegged at $2 billion to $3 billion, the DIA likely will escape relatively unscathed. If, as expected, it comes in at $10 billion to $15 billion, the half-billion Orr wants is reasonable. But if the number is more astronomical — $25 billion or above — somebody call Roger Penske and order a moving van."  (It is interesting that if you click on the link to Nolan’s commentary it is no longer accessible on the Detroit News)

Those who want to save the art are willing to sacrafice the future of Detroit to keep it and they are mostly non-residents. The art at the DIA did not prevent the city from failing and it will not contribute to it rising from the abyss. Using funds from the sale of art to build the best public school system in southeast Michigan will do wonders for the rebirth of the Motor City.

Selling art will allow the city to hire the best teachers and have the lowest teacher to pupil ratio of any public school in the metro area. As the word gets out that Detroit’s teacher to pupil ratio competes with some of the best private schools in the area middle class families will be moving into the city. Couple this with a program that mirrors the Kalamazoo Promise where students graduating from Detroit Public Schools receive free tuition and books to any state college or university and the real estate industry will have a tough time keeping up with demand. Current housing prices will rise thus increasing property tax collections.

The growth in a middle class will further result in the development of neighborhood and regional shopping centers which in turn lead to job creation.

It should be Detroiters who decide what to do with Detroit’s art. Do you want your city and children to have a bright future or do you want them to be able to visit the Masters at their convenience?

7 comments:

  1. This amounts to the Grand Heist by an illegitimate unelected agent (EM) Orr facilitating the smoke & mirrors, double talk to line the couffers of all but the citizens of the City of Detroit. The Bankrucpy is illegitimate b/c the appointed EM (overseer) filed for it using deceptive tactics by the Jones Day law firm when Ingham County Judge told him she wouldn't authorize encumbering the pensions ( in her chambers),last July b/c the pensions were protected by the State of Michigan Constitution (Article 9,section 24). So the use of the media simply gives cover for a totally bogus operation (,Grand bargain, Bankrucpy, attempt to control/ Privatize the water etc. Somebody ought to go to jail &,somebody's sure needs to go to hell"!!!!

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  2. Joe Donovan, Jr.June 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    How would selling the art collection pay for improving DPS? The funds would go directly to groups like Syncora, FGIC, and pensioners instead. The current Grand Bargain leverages the DIA's art to pay pensioners, without removing the art from our community. By the way, you should note that budget cuts have forced DPS to eliminate their art programs; the DIA is functionally each schools' art class. Art isn't just a matter of hanging a picture on the wall; it reveals truth and beauty and inspires youth.

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  3. Joe Donovan, Jr.June 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    How would selling the art collection pay for improving DPS? The funds would go directly to groups like Syncora, FGIC, and pensioners instead. The current Grand Bargain leverages the DIA's art to pay pensioners, without removing the art from our community. By the way, you should note that budget cuts have forced DPS to eliminate their art programs; the DIA is functionally each schools' art class.

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  4. Bronko Nagurski IVJune 10, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    this would be a very very bad investment. take away the cultural enrichment of the art that would be around for generations and give it to a group of people that have give absolutely no value to education? its just silly and feeds all the bleeding heart liberal stereotypes!

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  5. Jones Day wrote a white paper where they pointed out that a city while in bankruptcy can continue to spend on infrastructure and other investments and the judge cannot block it.

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  6. Joe Donovan, Jr.June 13, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    "Accordingly, if a municipality determines that it would like to buy or sell a piece of real estate or make a significant capital improvement to its roads or infrastructure, it may do so without needing to ask the bankruptcy court for authority or without following any of the other special procedures applicable to other debtors. Of course, nonbankruptcy state or federal laws that otherwise regulate the process that municipalities must follow to take such actions would still apply." Meaning the City would have to overcome status quo obstacles (e.g., AG Schute's opinion) preventing the sale of art, so that's not going to work. Plus, this is an argument JonesDay makes, which doesn't make it true necessarily; the White Paper is more assertive than persuasive.

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  7. They would not if Jones Day does what they indicated in a white paper on the topic.... http://lstrn.us/1jdPdIn

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