Here’s some excerpts from the great article, “Cities need reform, not bailouts”
The catastrophe for cities wasn’t created in the past few weeks….Our key point is that, in the years leading up to economic lockdown, these and other California officials have rubber-stamped pay hikes and pension benefits that their supporters, the public employee unions, demanded of them. Their government finances were unaffordable long before this disaster. The shutdown has only sped up the process of insolvency.
Consider the shameful example of Fullerton’s streets. These potholed relics would embarrass any American city. Such blight is incomprehensible in high-tax, relatively high-income Orange County — incomprehensible unless you understand that its union-backed political class consistently approves higher pay and benefits for government workers that suck up every available dollar, crowding out essential services.
The solution? If you’re Foley and Fitzgerald, first blame the virus for your predicament. Second, find someone to bail you out of your self-inflicted problems.
The authors go on to recommend chapter 9 bankruptcy.
Unlike California state judges, federal bankruptcy judges have shown a remarkable willingness to unwind the disastrous pensions that created havoc in city finances long before this current crisis.
That, of course, would require Foley and Fitzgerald to turn on the union leaders who financed their political campaigns in the expectation of a payback. Doing requires courage.
Let’s see if these officials have the heart to match their bold claim that they’re ready to fight for their communities.
Read the article in its entirety here
It looks like Chapter 9 could be the only way to shed the completely unsustainable pension and post-employment benefit liabilities Chico has. Here’s a great interview that offers solutions to this criminal situation including chapter 9 and also adopting reforms implemented in Wisconsin.
But I can guarantee you this will never happen in Chico because there is no one on the Chico City Council with the courage to stand up to the special interests. And anyone who did would never get elected. That’s the kind of community you live in, folks.
But you can vote and campaign against their sales tax increase! DON’T LET THEM TAKE EVEN MORE OF YOUR MONEY!