The time for redefining Detroit is now

The time for redefining Detroit is now

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By Mike Renda
General Manager of WJBK Fox 2

As you talk to the residents of metro Detroit, one question always seems to come up: How are we going to reinvent our city?

We all know what the problems are: Crime, a shrinking population and resulting loss of revenues, shortage of basic city services including police, fire and transportation.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's recent report detailed a city that has billions in long term debt, growing budget deficit's, and a under funded pension system.

Orr will begin negotiations very soon with creditors to restructure and reduce debt repayment. This complicated set of negotiations,  if successful,  could pave the way for creating an environment for long term reinvestment in the city.

It would mean that the city could provide the basic city services that residents should expect and begin to make a city that "works".

Orr claims he will know within 6-8 weeks on the fate of these discussions. The future of Detroit hangs in the balance.

In parallel to these discussions there is a growing feeling of optimism among many about the future of Detroit.  There has been and continues to be huge investments being made into key areas of the city.  Innovative green space plans are being developed to replace the blighted areas of the city.

Rosetti, the local award winning architectural firm, recently announced that it's moving it's headquarters from the suburbs into the historic Federal Reserve building downtown. The company noted that Detroit "is becoming a creative center attracting some of the country's most innovative and inspiring artists, designers and new economy businesses".   

This optimism will grow among the people if the city, under the leadership of Emergency Manager Orr, can show how the city can operate within it's budget and provide the basic services that it's residents have a right to expect.  It's a tough challenge.   With the resources of Fox 2 News, we will continue to monitor the progress of Emergency Manager Orr and the city's restructure plan.  

We also want to hear from you about some of the positive and innovative ways that Detroit  is redefining itself every day.

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