On the same day residents were being given a chance to tell a Federal Bankruptcy judge why they're opposed to Detroit's bankruptcy filing, a former mayor says he doesn't think there is really a choice.
Ex-mayor Dennis Archer making the remarks today at an event announcing the distribution of more than $1 million in scholarships made through a special fund set up after he left office.
Archer told FOX 2's M.L. Elrick, "everybody contributes in their own way. If everyone who is in a position can give back, can create opportunities, we can really turn the city of Detroit around very quickly. So whatever anybody can do, I think it is important for all of us to do it. To have something positive about our future.
Other cities have problems just like we do. It's just our turn in the barrel, but it's going to be turned around. I hope that what we will all learn from everything we have experienced over the last decade or so will cause those who are newly elected coming in office to think twice before they even think about doing any thing inappropriate. How to be fiscally conservative, how to make sure they pay the bills on time so we don't have this problem again," Archer said.
When asked if he thinks the bankruptcy filing is appropriate and the best thing for Detroit Archer said, "The mayor and city council entered into a consent agreement and they worked real hard. But they were not able to through working and consultations with the unions to make sufficient progress or savings. So they were still going to run out of cash money by the end of this year in 2013 or January of 2014.
With the emergency financial manager having been appointed, he's got a responsibility to see if he cannot hopefully negotiate, even if the judge says yes you're in bankruptcy, that they can still negotiate out and still work through satisfying the creditors as best possible with the money that's there. So that we can move forward and I think that is going to happen.
Everything that I've learned and everything that I've read seems to point to that direction. But there is no question in my mind that the city of Detroit is going to comeback. It's going to comeback and be even stronger. The purpose of bankruptcy, if we are permitted to go into bankruptcy, is to give somebody a fresh start.
You think about all the outstanding businesses or corporations that have been in bankruptcy and have come out and how they're making money now. How they're returning dividends and value to the shareholders. Hiring people, new jobs etc. That's the kind of thing the city of Detroit can do, and will do."
Archer says he doesn't believe Detroit has any choice but to go into bankruptcy, "You can't run a city without money. And if you're running out of cash and you take away the powers of the emergency financial manager, to pay these bills and forgo these, it would really be a disaster for the city," he said.