Vallejo Strikes Deal to Avoid Bankruptcy - any lessons for us?

VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — A last-minute deal between city leaders and
labor unions could allow this cash-strapped Bay Area suburb to avoid
becoming the first city in the state to declare bankruptcy over a
budget shortfall.

 

But Mayor Osby Davis said the deal would balance the budget for its
current fiscal year and "provide a framework for solving the long-term
issues."

"It's not the answer to our financial problems," said
Davis, who took office in December. "The problems we face are
long-standing. They're not going to be solved overnight."

 

It is collecting less tax revenue than projected as retail sales and property values decline amid an economic downturn.

At
the same time, Vallejo faces escalating costs for its police and
firefighters, whose pay and benefits make up nearly 80 percent of its
general fund budget.

 

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jYk7gvNkTRhRD8i-Mb5Z28z_MnWgD8V3U4J81

 

 

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So far the only sacrifices made in Toledo have been the taxpayers. Past city leadership, and that has to include our current and past leader, has given away the farm. Public service unions are capable through the ballot box of selecting their bosses - an incestuous relationship if ever there was one! This whole area needs a close look to put such influence in its proper perspective!

Those salary increases were deceptive since we really only heard about this percentage increase or that increase, but all the while we had these other deals that went directly into employee's pocket and right out of the taxpayer's wallet - the pickup of the employee portion of retirement. And when the system decides to increase the PERS contributions on employee and employer, guess who picks up the tab for all the increases?

We need greater transparency. We need investigative journalism, (Yes, I understand the problem here.) We need citizens taking an active role in monitoring their government. (Beginning to see more of this.) So the last item is our collective fault. So next time you complain, find a way to turn that energy and anger into constructive action. And stop complaining about those that do! You might not agree with their opinion or approach, but 1) they are taking action, 2) they raise questions that provide greater transparency, 3) they spark debate, and 4) they help create a more informed electorate.

Some say that is being negative - well, you can't solve a problem until you identify it and understand how you got there!

City employees have to make sacrifices. City leadership should not expect taxpayers to bail them out of a mess that some helped create, but all have to solve.

I've said it before, as have others, that Toledo can not raise it's tax rates (probably needs to lower both property and income tax rates) if the city is to be competitive with its suburbs and that is key to eventual revitalization along with some vibrant, visionary leadership.

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