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Wayne State brings outside city officials to discuss personal bankruptcy experience

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Bob Benedetti takes the podium at the forum on Thursday Bob Benedetti takes the podium at the forum on Thursday
(WJBK) -

Wayne State University held a forum Thursday that brought outside city officials together to discuss their municipalities' bankruptcy experience.

James Diossa is from Central Falls, Rhode Island, a city that filed for bankruptcy. He was elected mayor earlier this year, just as the city began to emerge from that bankruptcy. Fox 2's Alexis Wiley reports his city is focusing on creating better schools and jobs to draw in families and create a stronger tax base. He says the city is in a comfortable state right now.

Bob Benedetti was also on the panel, a professor who studied bankruptcies throughout California. He spoke about cities that are on the verge of filing for bankruptcy again due to expense issues that were out of the city's control.

"The cities did not have the resources to do everything that modern city should do, so many of them are on the edge," Benedetti tells Wiley. He says each city needs a clear vision and to find partners, such as those from the suburbs in Detroit's case.

"Bankruptcy, experience itself, is not going to solve the problems of Detroit. It's going to address the financial problem - we still have to rebuild the city; a culture; a commitment; a citizenry of people who really want to make Detroit great," says Dr. Irv Reid, former Wayne State University President.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to learn more in Wiley's report

Many expect Judge Rhodes to issue a ruling on Detroit's bankruptcy before Thanksgiving Day, November 28.

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