Mayor, unions at odds over fixes for Fresno budget - Politics - fresnobee.com
In an afternoon meeting with The Bee's editorial board, Swearengin and Scott moved the talk far away from the fiscal-emergency declarations and Chapter 9 bankruptcy threats that have made the city of Stockton a national example of financial incompetence.
At the same time, Swearengin and Scott drew a line in the sand for the city's 3,200 employees, implying that the Stockton scenario isn't far-fetched for Fresno for these reasons:
Three years of incessant layoffs, service reductions and penny-pinching haven't done the trick.
The city will struggle to close a $2.1 million general fund budget gap in the fiscal year ending June 30, let alone the huge gap projected over the next five years.
The revenue picture is flat -- sales-tax proceeds up a bit more than expected, property-tax proceeds down a bit more -- and Fresno is stuck in a farm-based economy traditionally slow to come out of recessions.