(Darwina Wallace | Source: Freep)
“Sometimes I think they care more about the art than the retirees who spent our entire lives working for this city,” Darwina Wallace told me.
I interviewed Wallace—a woman in her late sixties who started working for the city of Detroit when she was in her 30s—in her home a few miles west of downtown.
|If unions or individual city employees don’t accept what Orr described as “a timely settlement” or if they try to force the city to sell its art, or engage in protracted litigation, Orr will push for a 34 percent reduction in pensions.|
Her street had not been plowed and it had snowed enough the week before Christmas that I played it safe and parked my car on Mack Avenue, which divides Detroit from the upscale municipality of Grosse Pointe. The residential streets on the other side of Mack Avenue were plowed.
Wallace went to work for as a 911 operator and over the years worked her way up to middle management. She had a better retirement than many city retirees. And her house was paid for, even if her street wasn’t plowed.
But she had no idea how much her pension would be cut after Detroit emerged from bankruptcy. Nor did she know how bankruptcy would affect the health care coverage that was part of her retirement package. And she has serious health problems.
Now she knows.