“The unions are buying power”
This is a great video of Stephanie Gomes discussing her experience as a member of the City Council in Vallejo, California, as they struggled through a municipal insolvency and bankruptcy. She talks about the power of the police and firefighter unions and their stranglehold on local politics. Gomes comes across as passionate citizen who was willing to confront some of the deep-seated problems in her community. She highlights the importance of local and national media attention on the “dirty laundry” of municipal finances like high salaries and generous pensions for union workers. Her experience is an important lesson for anyone interested in muniland.
Jefferson County nearly files bankruptcy but instead ditches negotiator
The Birmingham News ran this above video of Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington discussing the commission’s meeting on Friday when they voted to delay filing Chapter 9 bankruptcy, cut out their court appointed receiver and deal directly with bond creditors. From what President Carrington says, it sounds like they almost filed bankruptcy at the meeting::
I thought we were going Chapter 9. I think I could take a test on Chapter 9 I know it so well.
I’ll write more about this meeting because I think it marks a high mark of municipal governance, as well as poor reporting by a major U.S. news outlet.
New York Times: A County in Alabama Puts Off Bankruptcy