STOCKTON (CBS13) — The Stockton City Council is outlining its plan for the city to emerge from Chapter 9 bankruptcy, while it wonders why it’s not getting the same assistance from the federal government as Detroit.
Councilman Michael Tubbs sent a letter to the White House wondering why the Motor City is getting $320 million two months after it filed for bankruptcy, while Stockton hasn’t seen a dime more than 15 months later.
In the meantime, the city plans to make it without the feds’ help with a combination of higher taxes and slashing retirees’ benefits.
“This is the beginning of a new Stockton,” Tubbs said.
“It’s the beginning of the end of a fiscal crisis, and I’m confident in the next six months, we’ll see a new Stockton,” said City Manager Bob Deis.
The proposal includes cutting retiree medical benefits, which would save $538 million, selling off $6 million in city property, and defaulting on millions of dollars in debt.
But not everyone’s in favor such deep cuts, which includes a plan to forgo payment on some city golf courses.
“It’s a beautiful golf course,” said Stockton resident Ron Equinoa. “I’d hate to see them lose it. They need to keep it open.”
Other impacts include defaulting on a $10 million loan from the state for the marina and ending a half-million-dollar-a-year payment to the city’s sports teams.
“It’s the best we can do with negotiating with the other parties involved,” said Tubbs.
The plan also counts on the passage of a three-quarter-cent sales-tax measure in November to help get Stockton of bankruptcy.
The City Council will have to approve the plan on Thursday, then it will go before a judge.
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