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Saving California's struggling cities
Los Angeles Times ^ | 07/25/2012 | Rick Cole

Posted on 07/26/2012 6:53:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

San Bernardino is the third California city in a month to seek refuge in bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy inflicts such crippling chaos and infamy on a town that most municipalities struggling with debt and deficits will make the hard choices necessary to stay solvent.

Spending three years tied up in bankruptcy court was a near-death experience for Vallejo, which emerged from Chapter 9 last year. Mayor Osby Davis warns, "It takes an enormous toll on everyone. And you have the stigma of being a bankrupt city. How do you come out of being labeled a bankrupt city to one that is a desirable place to live?"

Knowing the cost, why would any city even contemplate such disastrous recourse? Unfortunately for some cities, the factors that push them to the brink are the same ones that will push them over the edge.

That's apparently what happened in San Bernardino, where a combination of dysfunctional politics and disingenuous accounting powered an irreversible downward cycle.

Vallejo, and now Mammoth Lakes, Stockton and San Bernardino — and perhaps other cities to come — have particular tales of woe. But they all also can illustrate the brutal, no-win perils of distributing a city's financial pain. It can paralyze democracy.

Even if there's no cash, there's always plenty of blame. That guarantees that residents, businesses bondholders, employees and retirees will be pitted against each other in a war in which, as Osby knows, everyone loses.

The only glimmer of hope is outside intervention.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: bankruptcy; california

1 posted on 07/26/2012 6:53:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Do the right things for America and the cities will save themselves or die on their own. That means tough love.


2 posted on 07/26/2012 6:56:42 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Does “saving” imply giving them more cash to throw away?


3 posted on 07/26/2012 7:00:03 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty ("Get that evil, foreign, muslim, usurping bastard out of MY White House!" FUBO GTFO!)
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To: cripplecreek

This is an American absurdity. The country’s once wealthiest state has regulated and spent itself into bankruptcy and non productivity. Of course after the election Obama will tax the rest of America to bail out his loyal California constituents.Most of California is a bizarre place.


4 posted on 07/26/2012 7:03:21 AM PDT by allendale
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To: SeekAndFind

The Left may suggest burning the village in order to save it.


5 posted on 07/26/2012 7:05:30 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Roger Taney? Not a bad Chief Justice. John Roberts? A really awful Chief Justice.)
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To: SeekAndFind
How do you come out of being labeled a bankrupt city to one that is a desirable place to live?"

Easy!

You emerge from bankruptcy as an institution who has learned the value of frugality, practicality, and common sense. You deliver stability and value for the buck to residents. You demonstrate conscientious and down-to-earth conservative values and management principles.

Of course, to do these things it might be necessary to secede from California.;-)

6 posted on 07/26/2012 7:06:10 AM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.")
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To: allendale

I think you all need to elect me dictator for a year and hide in you basements cause it wouldn’t be pretty.

You can even surround me with SEAL team 6 with the standing order to take me out if I try to stay one minute longer.


7 posted on 07/26/2012 7:06:45 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind

What does California(and her struggling cities)all have in common?They are ALL run by LIBERALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


8 posted on 07/26/2012 7:09:35 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: cripplecreek

Shut it down, cancel current and future pensions and privatize the whole d@mn thing!

Next.


9 posted on 07/26/2012 7:26:14 AM PDT by poobear (Socialism, in the minds of the elites, is a con-game for the serfs, nothing more.)
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To: SeekAndFind

There’s a simple solution to ward off bankruptcy. Simply raise taxes. It’s clear as day. Hit those rich bastards especially hard.


10 posted on 07/26/2012 7:28:14 AM PDT by FastCoyote (I am intolerant of the intolerable.)
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To: poobear

Cut federal funding of public transportation and bike paths and fix the roads like is supposed to happen. Return the rest to the people in the form of lower taxes.


11 posted on 07/26/2012 7:30:50 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: ClearCase_guy

“The Left may suggest burning the village in order to save it.”

More likely to burn the country to save the state.


12 posted on 07/26/2012 7:31:08 AM PDT by Carthego delenda est
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To: FastCoyote
You forgot the other half.

Give everybody a raise by increasing the min wage to 30 bucks/hr.

Also, can always hire more workers for the state, you know, just to tide them over during the rough times.

13 posted on 07/26/2012 7:33:20 AM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: SeekAndFind

Paging Helicopter Ben...


14 posted on 07/26/2012 7:34:44 AM PDT by Carthego delenda est
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To: FastCoyote

LOL We could take every dime from “the rich” and it wouldn’t even make a dent.

Just yesterday this thread was posted saying that Ford earned $1 billion in profit last quarter. Its a penny compared to federal spending.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2910492/posts

Funny thing is that its the small businesses that produce the bulk of the revenue in America. In Michigan the sportfishing industry is a $7 to $10 billion dollar per year industry and its almost entirely small businessmen who work alone or have 1 or 2 employees.


15 posted on 07/26/2012 7:41:06 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind

[[ Spending three years tied up in bankruptcy court was a near-death experience for Vallejo, which emerged from Chapter 9 last year. Mayor Osby Davis warns, “It takes an enormous toll on everyone. And you have the stigma of being a bankrupt city. How do you come out of being labeled a bankrupt city to one that is a desirable place to live?” ]]

Maybe you don’t.

It’s not bankruptcy per se that is preventing these cities from being “desirable places to live”.

Bankruptcy is but one symptom of the problems that are afflicting such places. There are other “problems” that are much more intractable that have as devastating an impact.


16 posted on 07/26/2012 8:18:07 AM PDT by Road Glide
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To: cripplecreek
Ford earned $1 billion in profit last quarter. Its a penny compared to federal spending.

Exactly.

The fed gov BORROWS - and immediately spends - nearly $4 billion per day.

That's in addition to immediately spending the entire $6 billion in tax revenue received each day.

And they pay $1 billion per day interest on the debt.

.

17 posted on 07/26/2012 8:18:30 AM PDT by repentant_pundit (Sammy's your uncle, but he behaves like a spoiled rotten kid.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Here's my proposal. If a city runs a >10% budget deficit for 1 year, all of its managers are immediately fired. That includes the mayor and the entire city council. They cannot run for re-election for at least 1 full term out of office. Tax increases require ballot approval.

Problem. Solved.

18 posted on 07/26/2012 8:36:25 AM PDT by douginthearmy (Obamagebra: 1 job + 1 hope + 1 change = 0 jobs + 0 hope)
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To: SeekAndFind
Bankruptcy inflicts such crippling chaos and infamy on a town that most municipalities struggling with debt and deficits will make the hard choices necessary to stay solvent.

How this should have been written:

Bankruptcy inflicts such crippling chaos and infamy on the politicians the people elected to run the town that most will use debt and massive deficits rather than make the hard choices necessary to stay solvent.

19 posted on 07/26/2012 8:45:46 AM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: cripplecreek

I like it.


20 posted on 07/26/2012 8:51:09 AM PDT by poobear (Socialism, in the minds of the elites, is a con-game for the serfs, nothing more.)
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To: SeekAndFind

When we started allowing Politicians to Enslave future generations with massive amounts of Debt that can Never be Paid off, for it is a Mathematical Impossibility. Which brings me to my point, Everybody says that these Union Contracts are Concrete and Solid and cannot be negated in anyway except bankruptcy, but These Contracts in and of themselves are by definition FRAUDULENT. It is a Mathematical Impossibility to fulfill the obligations set forth in Virtually All Public Employee Contracts, not to mention it REQUIRES the INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE of Future Generations to satisfy the whims of our leaders Today. How can a Contract That is Mathematically Impossible to Fulfill be defined as anything but Fraudulent, especially when you realize that Both Sides of the negotiating table were and are heavily funded and outright owned by one party to the contract???
Every city should file Bankruptcy immediately. We the Taxpayers Do Not Have a seat at the Table we are being required to pay for.


21 posted on 07/26/2012 9:21:14 AM PDT by eyeamok
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, after reading about how San Francisco’s escalators break down because so many people crap on them, I think the cities of California should start a Crap-A-Thon! Charge people $5 to come and take a dump on your city’s escalators! You could have competitions! “BOMBS AWAY!” - $20 to the person who can stand on the escalator rails and hit a target! “STEPS!” - how many steps can you hit with one load? “THE WEE WEE WADE!” - can you miss those puddles walking to the train? “WHAT DID GENE HAVE FOR DINNER?” - CSI (Crap Scene Investigation). All of Massachusetts would come.


22 posted on 07/26/2012 9:22:19 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SeekAndFind

I wouldn’t do a damn thing for any of these idiots untill they get rid of the union thugs. No more money down that rat hole!!!


23 posted on 07/26/2012 9:22:29 AM PDT by ontap
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To: poobear
I look at things like the people mover in Detroit which is rider funded at a rate of around 7% meaning the taxpayers pick up the other 93% of the tab. The worst part is that it doesn't run through the ghetto, its entirely downtown where primarily 6 figure earners ride it during the week and people going to watch the Tigers and Lions play ride the rest of the time.

I don't live in town but in Jackson Michigan, they're debating how to get federal funds to pay for repaving a bike path through the hood. When I was a kid, the thought of a bike path was so alien I would have laughed at the idea of riding on a purpose built paved path. They also got stimulus funds for a river arts walk and a couple of "rain gardens".

Meanwhile I live in a tiny town in the outlying county on a dirt two track street and I'm doing fine.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

OH THE HORROR!!!!!
24 posted on 07/26/2012 9:22:34 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: eyeamok
And these Kolifornians just reelected one of the stupidest of these idiots!!!
25 posted on 07/26/2012 9:24:41 AM PDT by ontap
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To: cripplecreek

Bike path through the hood......mugging victum ale cart!!!


26 posted on 07/26/2012 9:26:26 AM PDT by ontap
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To: RoosterRedux

“How do you come out of being labeled a bankrupt city to one that is a desirable place to live?”

From what I have read, Ole Osby and Co. in Vallejo didn’t really do what was required to make Vallejo a “desirable place to live.” They have only staved off yet another return to bankruptcy court because they “ kissed ass” with their cops and firemen and left in place parts of union contracts which will lead them back into bankruptcy.


27 posted on 07/26/2012 9:28:33 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: ontap

Its more of a crackhead highway to the wealthier neighborhoods. I have a friend who lived in a nice neighborhood along the path.

One day a cop pulled in and told him that they had just arrested a guy standing there masturbating while watching my friend’s little girls (6 and 9) rolleblading.


28 posted on 07/26/2012 9:32:48 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind
The only glimmer of hope is outside intervention.

The only glimmer of hope is mass deportation. In some cases, of American citizens... :)

29 posted on 07/26/2012 9:42:03 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: cripplecreek

Beautiful!

I grew up in rural Florida on clay roads. You know the kind that washboard up when it’s dry and make small sink holes during the summer rains. Hit one of those on your bike and your lucky your teeth are still in tack. Oh, the horrors! Wouldn’t have changed any of it.


30 posted on 07/26/2012 9:52:04 AM PDT by poobear (Socialism, in the minds of the elites, is a con-game for the serfs, nothing more.)
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To: cripplecreek

Does the EPA and US Forest Service know that you cut your grass?


31 posted on 07/26/2012 4:38:39 PM PDT by Paladin2
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