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Scott Neal, June 29, 2012 | Scott Neal
There was a story this week in the Bloomberg News about the impending bankruptcy filing for the City of Stockton, California. I think this is a shocking story. A city of almost 300,000 is deciding right now if it wants to pay its bills. Not how, but if.
The blame game is in full motion in Stockton. It’s the economy’s fault. It’s the employee unions’ fault. It’s the elected officials’ fault. It’s the state’s fault. You can read your own bias into any one of those scenarios.
In the end, it’s probably a combination of all of the above + a general lack of will by city officials to lead their city toward the one real operational goal of any city government: To provide municipal services at levels that residents of the community are willing to pay for.
Somewhere along the line, Stockton strayed from that goal. Today, and for many tomorrows into the future, they’ll pay the price for it.