Central Falls falls
If you have been hanging around here, you would be aware of the problems of Central Falls, RI, about which I’ve been posting since March.
So it will come as no surprise that Central Falls, weighed down by unsustainable union contracts and pension costs made worse by fiscal mismanagement, has filed for federal bankruptcy protection:
The fiscal crisis that has crippled the city over the past few years reached critical mass on Monday as the state-appointed receiver filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court, the first time a Rhode Island municipality has ever been declared insolvent.
Receiver Robert G. Flanders Jr. announced his decision in the second-floor City Council chambers at City Hall….
“Services have been cut to the bone,” Flanders said. “Taxes have been raised to the maximum level allowable. From the ashes of bankruptcy, Central Falls will rise again — a slimmer, sleeker city ready to stand on its own two legs as an independent municipality or to merge, marry or consolidate services with one of more of its neighbors.”
In a sign of what is to come elsewhere unless we get serious about public sector union contracts, benefits and pensions, Central Falls was forced to use the nuclear option to void the contracts:
Flanders, as part of the bankruptcy filing, voided the police, fire and municipal employee contracts and he said he will impose cuts he proposed July 19 on 141 retired police and firefighter pensions to save $2.5 million. He will also begin requiring that retirees and active employees pay 20 percent of their health-insurance coverage.
Flanders said there will be layoffs, but did not give specifics.
The union bosses and Democratic politicians who fight reform are the cruel ones, because they are pushing their members towards the same fate as the employees of Central Falls.
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“…merge, marry or consolidate services with one of more of its neighbors.” I don’t know, sounds to me like a great opportunity to start over.
Not if you are one of its’ neighbors. The place is really bottom of the barrel.
I guess I thought it was biggger than it apparently is, at least a large enough critical mass to be self supporting with reasonable government. But then, I suppose OR, NV, and AZ wouldn’t be interested in merging or consolidating with CA either (nor am I, for that matter). Point taken.
The first news report I saw of this quoted a city employee as saying, “its a shame, Central Falls has always been a progressive city”. I burst out laughing when I read that. Liberalism really is a mental disorder. You can’t be a liberal unless you possess a mind incapable of basic logic and impervious to facts. How is it possible not to see the direct connection between the progressive policies and their current bankruptcy? The promises (particularly pensions and health insurance) made by Democratic politicians to the unions that own them simply can not be paid for. So, they won’t be.
The last I’d heard, prior to this, was an attempt by the Receiver to get concessions from the unionized city employees and retirees that might have averted a bankruptcy. Didn’t hear the result, but its safe to assume that the unions were unwilling to compromise.
Big mistake. Things will go much worse for them now.
Its also the beginning of the recovery for a city that’s been in rough shape for a very long time.
CF used to be known for cocaine and the associated decay back in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Even then the one mile square city was a laughingstock (pretty bad, considering all the other shenanigans that took place in Rho Dialin’).
If P’tucket or Eest Prahvidince can absorb them it would be best. They shoulda pulled the plug on CF a long time ago, IMO.
Note also: the person in the news item that bemoaned the ‘shame’ of Central Falls’ loss as a progressive city was a “50 year old retiree” (look it up: honest).
A 50 year old retiree? Really? Tell me: Streets ‘n San, or City Hall? Perhaps if Mr Progressive Retiree is concerned about the loss of monthly benefits from Uncle Money, he could do what Prof. J and I, along with most readers of this site do: GET A JOB. So far, it’s working out for me.
After all, someone’s gotta put in 39% of their income so the other 50 year olds can retire…