Thursday, October 27, 2011

What happened to Vallejo?

Osby Davis, Mayor of Vallejo.

Here's Wikipedia's entry on Vallejo. Why did it go bankrupt in 2008? Wikipedia doesn't go into great detail - but no incompetence on the part of elected officials seems the cause - except that they probably voted or at least maintained the unsustainable Union pay plan.
Vallejo is the largest city in Solano County, California, United States. The population was 115,942 at the 2010 census. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area on the northeastern shore of San Pablo Bay. Vallejo is named for General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo.

Vallejo is home to the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom theme park (formerly Marine World and Marine World Africa USA) ; the now-defunct Mare Island Naval Shipyard; the regional office for Region 5 of the United States Forest Service; the California Maritime Academy (part of the California State University system); the Vallejo Center campus of Solano Community College; and Touro University, an osteopathic medical college. Ferry service runs from a terminal on Mare Island Strait to San Francisco, through Vallejo Transit's BayLink division.

Vallejo has twice served as the capital of the state of California: once in 1852 and again in 1853, both periods being brief. Some of the first Europeans drawn to the Vallejo area were attracted by the sulfur springs; in the year 1902 the area was named Blue Rock Springs.

In 2008, Vallejo became the largest California city ever to file for bankruptcy.

On May 6, 2008, the City Council voted 7-0 to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, becoming the largest city to do so ever in California. Stephanie Gomes, Vallejo City Councilwoman, largely blames exorbitant salaries and benefits for Vallejo firefighters and police officers. Reportedly, salaries and benefits for public safety workers account for at least 80 percent of Vallejo's general fund budget.

The bankruptcy of Vallejo City is frequently cited by anti-union groups such as the National Right to Work Committee to rally support for their cause; they claim that unionization of public safety workers were what led to the demands that slid the city to bankruptcy:

Dropping down a level, the city of Vallejo, California, actually went bankrupt after nearly 75 percent of its budget was spent on satisfying the demands of the union agreement covering police and firefighters.
—National Right to Work Committee

And that's all the Wikipedia article has to say on its bankruptcy!

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