An appeal to President Obama as he goes to Scranton

August 23, 2013

President Obama and his entourage are pulling into Scranton, PA for a speech on Friday. In many ways Scranton is the east coast equivalent of Detroit; a former industrial powerhouse reduced to the economic wilderness. The city’s unemployment rate was 9 percent in April 2013. Scranton almost ran out of cash last summer and the mayor reduced everyone to minimum wage to meet payroll.

Will Scranton recover?

May 1, 2013

Scranton, Pennsylvania blasted into the national consciousness last summer when its mayor, facing a cash shortage, slashed city worker wages to minimum wage.

Rising personnel costs are weighing down cities

July 26, 2012

Bloomberg’s Romy Varghese wrote an excellent piece about escalating wages and pension costs for public safety workers that mirrors much of what I’ve been writing about several bankrupt California cities. As municipal revenues slowly inch up, mandated wage and pension increases have been ravaging budgets:

States hold sway over their cities in bankruptcy matters

July 23, 2012

Bloomberg View’s Josh Barro wrote an interesting piece Thursday urging Scranton, Pennsylvania to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Scranton has achieved national attention after the mayor reduced all city workers’ pay to minimum wage last week because the city could no longer afford paying their full salaries, a powerful image of how little cash Scranton has left.