STOCKTON (CBS13) – The deadline is looming for Stockton. In a matter of days, it could become the biggest American city to file for bankruptcy.
Stockton has topped several unflattering lists but this one would take the cake.
“I think Stockton’s struck with bad luck,” said resident Vi Bahn.
Whether it’s the Curse of the Bambino or the result of a bad economy, the city of Stockton just can’t seem catch a break.
“There’s a lot going on that’s not good,” said another resident.
People are already dealing with high crime, high unemployment, and high foreclosures.
Now they are faced with the chance that their city could be the largest ever to file for bankruptcy if leaders can’t reach a deal with creditors to reduce the city’s overwhelming debt by Monday.
“It makes me think our leader, is not doing his job or her job and that we’re spending money on stuff that’s not needed right now,” said resident Jonathan Wallace.
While officials admit some mistakes were made in the past, they say they’re still paying for those mistakes, coupled with the still lingering crash of the economy, drastically shrinking property taxes, and overly generous retirement plans.
“Frankly I don’t know what to expect,” said Wallace.
If talks break down, the city council will vote on a special budget, file for bankruptcy Wednesday, stop debt payments, reduce pay and benefits, and increase parking citations.
It’s a plan B to save this once first class city, leaders say.
City officials have promised that if they file for bankruptcy and adopt a special budget, there will not be cuts to services like police and fire.