Detroit Retirees Sound Off To State Committee On City’s Grand Bargain
LANSING (WWJ) – Passionate testimony in Lansing Thursday as a special committee talks about the “Grand Bargain” — the deal to help bail out Detroit and its pensioners.
Retiree Roderick Vale says he did everything right, and through no fault of his own is left with a no-win situation.
“When you open the envelope, there’s a gun to your head — you take this or we’re going to take more. My heart says that there’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be another option. My head is telling me, you lose,” said Vale.
The testimony also becoming heated at times — including that from retiree Keith Davis, who balked at how long the state government will keep an eye on Detroit.
“20-year oversight is ridiculous! You didn’t do this with any other municipality that went into bankruptcy, why us? Either we can handle our business or we can’t. We don’t need you to come in, hold our hands; we can tie our own shoes. We got rid of the people who we felt were bad on our pension boards, we corrected our own problems. Let us continue to do so,” said Davis.
The special House Committee on Detroit’s Recovery and Michigan’s Future wrapped up discussions, Thursday afternoon, on the 11-bill package that would infuse the city’s pensions with $195-million in state tax dollars. This was the third hearing the committee has held this week as the five-member panel sorts through the bill package that contains numerous strings to the pension aid.