Duggan: Detroit EM’s office is empty
Detroit — With the key bankruptcy announcement only a few hours away, Mayor Mike Duggan said Friday has a chance to be...
Well, pretty much like yesterday, or any day last week.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes has said he will announce at 1 p.m. Friday whether he will confirm Detroit’s plan of adjustment.
Making the rounds at the Parade Co.’s annual VIP Pancake Breakfast Friday morning, Duggan said he was confident of approval.
“He’s been good to the city of Detroit throughout the process,” Duggan said of Rhodes.
In practical terms, though, “control has been moving back to the city and the elected officials for awhile.”
As hundreds of civic and business leaders gathered for breakfast and networking at the parade’s mammoth warehouse on Mount Elliott, the optimism bordered on giddiness. But Duggan was matter-of-fact.
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s office is empty, Duggan said: “He’s essentially back in D.C. now.”
Congresswoman-elect Debbie Dingell of the 12th district said the announcement was the next step in moving Detroit forward. A former General Motors executive, she compared Detroit’s bankruptcy to that of the company.
“When you look at the history of this region, the toughest time I lived through was the bankruptcy of General Motors,” the Dearborn Democrat said. “But coming out of it was the first day of the rest of GM’s life.
“Today is the first day of the rest of Detroit’s life.”
It was also Saunteel Jenkins’ last day on the Detroit City Council.
Jenkins, who resigned to become CEO of The Heat and Warmth Fund, was at a griddle making pancakes — one in the shape of a heart, the other a D for Detroit.
“I’m very excited about it,” she said of Rhodes’ expected ruling. “It’s great timing.”
Newly re-elected Gov. Rick Snyder made an appearance at the breakfast, to a warm ovation, and spoke briefly of pancakes: he had made one shaped like a University of Michigan block M and was partway through a Spartan S when he was called to the microphone.
Away from the public address system, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel spoke of priorities.
“My interest is that people learn a lesson from this,” he said of the bankruptcy.
Public officials in particular, he said, need to focus on long-term interests rather than short-term fixes or splashy projects.
In other words, he said amid the festivity and the flapjacks, it’s not just about bringing home the bacon.