Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan told a national TV audience Wednesday that Detroit’s proposed bankruptcy plan of adjustment seeks to balance obligations to retirees while acknowledging the need for smaller pensions for current employees.
“Part of the plan of adjustment that the (bankruptcy) judge is considering right now makes sure the guaranteed pensions for life go away, but you still have your past obligation (to) people who might be 75, 80 years old,” Duggan told Fox Business Network’s Melissa Francis. “So what they’re trying to do is balance fair treatment of those who have retired and a much more lean pension program for those still working.”
Duggan’s remarks come as the city seeks to get its plan approved in U.S. bankruptcy court. Wednesday is the second day of the trial.
The mayor also discussed the benefits of the so-called “grand bargain” that seeks to soften pension cuts for retirees and protect DIA art.
“It wasn’t that something was taken away from the bondholders, it’s that the business and the philanthropy community came together to protect both the art institute and the pensions,” Duggan said.
Duggan, who took over as the city’s mayor in January, added he’s improving city services.
“We’re putting lights on in the city, we’re knocking down abandoned houses,” Duggan said. “We’ve cut costs in a great many areas. I think people are seeing city services improve and people are moving into Detroit at a rate we haven’t seen in 40-50 years.”