Fresno steers towards the cliff

I knew the city of Fresno had money problems. I had no idea of city government’s flagrant fiscal irresponsibility.

Fresno’s arena is losing up to $8 million a year — almost four times the red ink of Stockton’s money pit. To lose a greater sum, arena management would have to actually pile money on the floor and burn it. 

The city is losing about $3.5 million a year on its sports arena, Chukchansi Park. The sports team, the Grizzlies, owes about $1 million in rent.

“The city is also spending about $3 million on a huge parking garage that’s barely used,” this story says.

I don’t know the whole layout. Perhaps Fresno is not as encumbered by debt as Stockton. But this hemorrhaging of red ink is a ominously familiar symptom of the culture of fiscal mismanagement.

Five’ll get you 10 somebody’s getting rich down there at the expense of taxpayers. I’ll give you the same odds that leaders have not found the spine to take the near-draconian measures necessary to right the city. They better muster the political courage and fiscal moxie or join Stockton at the bottom of the cliff.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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