Yesterday afternoon, retirees invited Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr out to lunch to explain the opulent personal expenses he charged to the city during this time of financial distress. Not surprisingly, Governor Snyder’s hand-selected bankruptcy expert did not attend.
None the less, retirees gathered at the Lafayette Coney Island to express concern about the future and frustration over the way that they are being treated.
“I love our city. I have lived here for 47 years, and I served as a fire fighter for 36,” said Derrick Holmes, a cancer survivor who retired from the Detroit Fire Department in July. “It is already tough to get by on my pension. If I have to take a reduction or start shopping around for health insurance, I don’t know how I’ll get by.”
Public servants did not cause Detroit’s financial problems, and the promises made to pensioners are supposed to be guaranteed according to Michigan’s Constitution. Going after modest pensions will not do anything to resolve the corruption, mismanagement and crony-capitalism that got Detroit into trouble in the first place.
Last week Governor Snyder refused a similar diner invitation from a retiree. Be sure to check out this clip:http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/detroit-retirees-face-changes-in-pension-and-health-care.
“Orr wasn’t elected, he was selected, and he isn’t operating in the best interests of our community,” said James Sharpe, a retired construction inspector. “If he and Governor Snyder get away with doing this in Detroit, all Michigan retirees are less secure.”
Contact: Sara Wallenfang