Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 26, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 10/26/2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — No alternative to Detroit loan plan

DETROIT — The Detroit City Council has decided not to push an alternative to a $350 million loan designed to help the city pay off some of its massive pension debt.

Council members on Friday discussed the competing plan to the post-bankruptcy petition financial proposal engineered by state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

About $230 million from Barclays would be used to fully pay off a complicated pension debt deal involving two major creditors. The rest would be used to improve basic city services.

Pledges of casino and income tax revenue, and proceeds from the sale of some city-owned of assets, would secure the loan.

Federal Judge Steven Rhodes is overseeing the city’s bankruptcy case and is expected to make a decision later on whether to approve the Barclays’ deal.

Deputy emergency manager appointed

DETROIT — State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr has named a former Detroit-area restructuring executive as his deputy.

Orr’s office says in a release that Stacy Fox was appointed to the post Friday.

Fox is the founder of the Detroit-based Roxbury Group, a real estate development company. She will oversee city operations, while also serving as Orr’s chief of staff. Her responsibilities will include leading transition efforts with the new mayoral administration following next month’s general election.

Fox has stepped down from her role at Roxbury. She will earn $175,000 annually, but receive no benefits as deputy emergency manager.

Orr was appointed over Detroit’s finances in March. In July, he made Detroit the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy.

Detroit, museum talks break down

DETROIT — A key consultant working on Detroit’s finances said talks broke down between city and Detroit Institute of Arts officials about finding common ground over ownership and the possible sale of some artwork.

Investment banker Ken Buckfire testified Friday during a trial to determine if the city is eligible to fix its finances in bankruptcy court that “discussions did not prove fruitful.”

He and others sought to explain that the city owned some of the museum’s art and the building.

They also wanted to reach a deal to “create value” for the financially troubled city.

An email seeking comment was left Friday with a museum spokeswoman.

Considered one of the nation’s top art museums, the institute has about 60,000 pieces. New York-based Christie’s international auction house is appraising city-owned pieces.