Residents of Detroit, Your Free Choice: Would You Like To Be Hanged or Shot?
July 23, 2014 • 7:56PM

Fearing even worse "offers" under the bankruptcy plan imposed on Detroit, general municipal retirees have voted to accept 4.5-percent cuts to their pension payments, as well as an end to all cost-of-living raises. Retired firefighters and police officers would see no cuts in their monthly pensions checks, but could expect smaller-than-expected cost-of-living raises.

The vote totals were announced late last night, according to the New York Times. Among retired and active firefighters and police who chose to cast votes, 82 percent voted in favor of the plan. And among general workers and retirees, 73 percent voted in favor. About 15,600 workers and retirees opted to vote from among about 32,000 who could have.

Additionally, two days ago, after protests, international outcries, and United Nations intervention, Detroit Water and Sewage Department announced that it is suspending its practice of shutting off water to people who are behind on their water bills. The moratorium is to last a mere 15 days, starting July 21. Recently, the department has been shutting off access to water at a 3,000-household-a-week clip. It's estimated that about half of the city's remaining population cannot afford the $70/month water bill, which is about double the national average.

The Detroit News reports that the department's decision came on the same day that a group of Detroit residents filed a lawsuit in the city's bankruptcy case, asking U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to restore water service to residential customers. The residents, backed by a coalition of activist and community groups, allege that the city is violating constitutional rights and contractual rights by shutting off water for those who owe back payments.