The resolution of Detroit’s record $18 billion bankruptcy won’t be decided just in a hushed courtroom, but buffeted by advertisements designed to sway Michigan lawmakers and dissected at pensioners’ kitchen tables.
Mayor Leonard Urban deals with the dead. As Connersville, Indiana’s undertaker, he’s buried more than 6,200 people in the past half-century, giving him perspective on end-of-life matters. He says his cash-bleeding town isn’t ready to go yet.
Larry Morrissey is mayor of the old industrial hub of Rockford, Illinois, and he says that if bankruptcy revived the U.S. auto industry, it might save his city of 151,000 from “the slow death” of pension costs.
When Vallejo , California, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 after failing to win union pay cuts, Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes said officials around the U.S. would have their eyes trained on the city of 120,000.