“They wanted to get out of bankruptcy in the worst possible way, and that’s just what they did.” — Fiscal watchdog Dean Andal, quoted in the New York Times. It’s tempting to add parrump-tschhh. Andal criticized the city of Stockton’s decision not to cut public employee pensions in its bankruptcy. That decision has made Stockton a [...]
… Was a manufacturing base that gave thousands of Stocktonians upward mobility, or at least a middle class wage. And how did this city come to have such a big manufacturing sector? A writer at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum ticks off the ingredients: inventors/entrepreneurs, geographical blessings, proximity to raw materials, investment capital and (to use [...]
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to regulate the sales of e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, if I’m not mistaken, Ashley Davies (the daughter of Bruce Davies, owner of French 25) and her partner Nathan Grefe are opening their 3rd Stockton e-cigarette store. Another entrepreneur reportedly has plans to open a 4th on Pacific Avenue. I’m following [...]
The SacBee’s Dan Walters reports (subscription) that San Bernadino — bankrupt San Bernardino — has to give its police a $1 million raise. A provision in the city charter says the city must keep up with certain other cities. That’s laugh-out-loud ludicrous. Salary surveys linking public employee pay to other regions (inevitably more affluent regions) should [...]
“It’s like you’re trading baskets when you’re already down 20 points.” — Jeffrey Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at University of the Pacific, talking about California’s uneven recovery. Bay Area jobs grew at rates such as 2.5 percent (Santa Clara County) or 2.3 percent (San Francisco metro area). But Central Valley job growth struggled [...]
A reader, seeing today’s column on alternative Christmas gifts, sends along one from Pinterest: hairy leg nylons for women, to reduce unwanted attention from men. When you see them, I’m sure you’ll agree they would work!
Dan the Man sorts it out in the Modesto Bee: “The potential fallout is immense,” he writes. “If pensions can be reduced in bankruptcy, California cities, struggling with ever-increasing demands for pension fund payments, will use it as leverage to demand concessions from their unions.” More than that; knowing they can now lighten their largest millstone, [...]
Speaking of Stockton’s botched waterfront revival (see item, below), here is a Top 10 list of the most screwed-up public works projects of all time. Stockton is not on the list. Our distinguished neighbor by the Bay is, though.
In the past, the citizens of Stockton shrugged when leaders such as Mayor Anthony Silva won office. They had a curious tolerance for inept and demagogic leaders. The Council were Bozos, Council meetings were a circus, city government was incompetent and possibly corrupt; that was just Stockton. People lived their lives entirely outside of the political sphere. [...]
Because the state constitution allows it in municipal bankrupcy, the New York Times reports. So now we have a comparitive experiment in Chapter 9. Detroit will cut pensions. Stockton will not. Over time it wil be possible to see which city emerges in better fiscal condition. I’m moderately confident the course Stockton chose will work. [...]