cisserosmiley's Blog

Jun. 27, 2012 at 8:07am

Should Tacoma File 4 Bankruptcy

There's a reason cities n counties r doing it

Several cities & counties have filed for bankruptcy. This is a mechanism to erase overweighted union contracting that occurred in the middle of the "boom" like Tacoma's own public employee comp system (Fredo can fill you in). Should WE do the same and erase manager Anderson's failed fiscal policies and start fresh with proper fiscal perspective -OR- be convicted to scraping up 20 million extra bucks every year until the next "boom" time?

comments [39]  |  posted under Tacoma


by cisserosmiley on 6/27/2012 @ 8:30am
Also, if WE did it now we could get in the news...

by NineInchNachos on 6/27/2012 @ 9:10am
Tacoma is too big to fail.

by NineInchNachos on 6/27/2012 @ 9:11am
Pierce County needs to bail us out. 

by cisserosmiley on 6/27/2012 @ 9:13am
Start with a scare campaign threatening to relocate typical tacomanians into their suburban neighborhoods...scary!

by L.S.Erhardt on 6/27/2012 @ 1:01pm
@ RR: Stockton is bigger than T-Town. I think we'll see in the next couple of years some REAL big cities file. I'm looking at YOU, Los Angeles and Chicago.

by JesseHillFan on 6/27/2012 @ 1:41pm
Tacoma in the last great depression had to pay its employee's with promissory notes rather than a paycheck.It happened to one of my grandpa's who was a TPD detective.They had the choice of either waiting and keep these non paying notes for years or sell them (cash them in) to the richer lawyers who would take them for a fraction of what they were worth.The lawyers then waited till the financial crises was over and got the full value of the notes.Of course the other option would be just to quit a temporarily non paying form of employment.

by cisserosmiley on 6/27/2012 @ 3:17pm
Tacoma could file bankruptcy to keep rich lawyers from getting richer!

by fredo on 6/27/2012 @ 4:15pm
good topic.  I don't know if we are in bankruptcy territory yet cissero.

Perhaps the council will come to it's senses and cut spending pronto. It's my understanding that we've already blown through the city reserve fund, we've blown through the parking garages reserve fund ($19,000,000 missing) and are begging for federal "grants" to maintain day-to-day operations.

Projected deficits for the next 2 bienniums are off the charts. But no one is sounding the all-hands-on-deck alarm aboard the rapidly faltering SS Tacoma.   Pretty soon there will be a call for all real Tacomanians to pledge some higher tax rates. Anybody who doesn't agree must be a member of the tea party or perhaps Youth for Hitler.

by NineInchNachos on 6/27/2012 @ 4:45pm
tacoma should sell Ruston

by Jesse on 6/27/2012 @ 8:07pm
"tacoma should sell Ruston"  --  RR

Liberate Ruston!!!!

by Cheechmo on 6/27/2012 @ 10:45pm
Time to start selling naming rights to everything. I can see it now:
Thea Foster Farms Chicken Waterway
Taco Del Mar Dome
Union Bank Station
Poynt Defiance Park

Or just have a big ol' sign on the way into town: Welcome to Tacoma: Presented by Wal-Mart!

by cisserosmiley on 7/11/2012 @ 3:09pm
San Bernardino did it...

by fredo on 7/11/2012 @ 3:50pm
some comparisons are in order:

San Bernardino population=209,000
Tacoma population=198,000

San Bernardino budget shortfall=$45,000,000
Tacoma budget shortfall=$11,000,000
Tacoma projected shortfall (2013-2014)=$40,000,000 

by jenyum on 7/11/2012 @ 6:12pm
I don't really understand what the implications would be.  Can anyone summarize?  I think that's more important than whether or not other city's have done it, or how we may or may not resemble them.

by fredo on 7/11/2012 @ 6:46pm
Here are a few implications Jen.

 City workers might be paid minimum wage and union contracts might be voided (if Tacoma uses a Chapter 9 Bankruptcy filing). It might make future bond sales very dicey, even impossible. My guess is that property values would decrease substantially. Rampant further disinvestment in the city likely. Lots of legal actions against the city. It will be an attorney's fantasyland.

by cisserosmiley on 7/11/2012 @ 9:40pm
Most likely outcome: credit rating groups recognize how responsible it is to acknowledge our lack of ability to maintain spending levels. Higher credit rating leads to EASIER bond sales and lower interest rates in the future.

by cisserosmiley on 7/19/2012 @ 2:37am
"The San Bernardino City Council on Wednesday declared a fiscal emergency, an acknowledgment that the city is nearly broke and a legal maneuver that will allow leaders to file for bankruptcy protection without going through months of state-mandated mediation."

by fredo on 7/22/2012 @ 5:35pm
Vallejo California recently filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The story behind the failure of Vallejo sounds remarkably like Tacoma, Washington.Let's read this piece from the Seattle Times (7/21/12)

"City (Vallejo) councils continued approving raises and benefits for workers, ignoring warnings from citizen oversight commissions. Police and fire officials could retire at 50 with 90% of their final year's salary. After one year of service, public employees could get health care coverage for life, and so could their families. Starting in 2005, the city began spending $3 million to $4 million a year more than it was taking in, draining its reserve fund."

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/22/2012 @ 9:17pm
Mark my words, this is the first few drops of rain before the hurricane comes ashore.

It'll get really interesting when a state (likely CA or IL) tries to file.

by fredo on 7/24/2012 @ 7:50pm
 Update regarding Tacoma's problems: 

Beyond 2012, the bigger challenge facing Tacoma is dealing with what Broadnax has called “structural budget issues” – expected expenses that outpace anticipated revenues into the future. Without major changes, the city is on track for up to a $65 million general fund shortfall over the next two years and larger deficits beyond that.

(2011-2012 budget shortfall currently stands at about $10M.)source: Tacoma News Tribune 7/24/12Read more here:

by cisserosmiley on 10/30/2012 @ 3:34pm
Wow ! If Miami, Detroit & Compton can do it so can Tacoma !

by cisserosmiley on 10/31/2012 @ 2:36pm
"Garfield North aims to attract PLU professors, staff members and other professionals to live near campus instead of in downtown Tacoma..." your eyes tacomanians...

by The Jinxmedic on 10/31/2012 @ 3:35pm
What's "File 4 Bankruptcy"?
Is that like "Chapter 11"?

by cisserosmiley on 10/31/2012 @ 3:47pm
A "municipal ch.11" is a chapter 9. Tacoma could file ch. 9 and be able to re-negotiate contractual obligations to be within the financial means of the city as we go forward.  Tacoma is not recovering the way some surrounding communities are, and we have historically lagged in economic recovery/growth. It is likely our city will not generate enough income over the next year or two to meet obligations. Chapter 9 now would allow inevitable contract restructuring now while protecting the city from future litigation.

by cisserosmiley on 10/31/2012 @ 5:17pm
Seattle is forecasting 1.9 million more than projected for 2013-2014 and will buy more police while Tacoma fires them...

by fredo on 10/31/2012 @ 6:29pm

Seattle may have more police than Tacoma, but we have more reconciliation parks than Seattle has, so it all evens out.

by cisserosmiley on 11/1/2012 @ 10:42am
Ch.9 for Tacoma could also resolve clearchannel billboard fiasco.  The "city" has declined to press cc for fine $$$ because we are afraid of cc receiving a settlement against us as threatened by cc counter suit.  If Tacoma wins, cc pays us...if cc wins Tacoma includes cc judgement on ch.9 debts to not be paid.

by cisserosmiley on 11/8/2012 @ 8:23am
The city needs to adjust its income/liability structure through bankruptcy now because individual stakeholders are signaling that our current model is unsustainable. The CITY will be decimated if it does not join in.

by fredo on 11/8/2012 @ 9:03am
  The investors who own this building will be sorry that they didn't stay with their investment. After the city council tears up Pacific Avenue for a couple of years and installs a nifty new rain clogged ditch in front of their place the renters are going to be demanding immediate occupancy. These people are sitting on a gold mine and they don't even know it. Fortunately there is lots of outside money clamoring for this opportunity so I wouldn't be too worried.

by cisserosmiley on 11/8/2012 @ 9:59am
Those investors were the outside money...all joking irony for Fredo aside, if everyone invested in Tacoma adjusts to our new economic reality except municipal operations, we will be creating a continuing structural deficit where the city never becomes financially healthy. 

by fredo on 11/8/2012 @ 10:10am
  The "for lease" signs on every block and the city operations awash in red ink mean only one thing.

Folks we're living in a city that loves liberalism.   

Wish I could expand on this thought.... but I'm rushing to get my application in for my art project the city is going to pay me to create.

by JesseHillFan on 11/8/2012 @ 10:17am
I think that the developers,investors and wealthy should pay for their own dreams from now on.The city should be split up into Downtown Tacoma,Central,North End,West End,South End and East End municipalities.

by NineInchNachos on 11/8/2012 @ 10:21am
you want 3rd parties? rent is 2 damn high party!  there you go.

by cisserosmiley on 11/8/2012 @ 10:51am
I saw in Europe (maybe Amsterdam) that once a building sat empty for a period of time it was opened for squatting. Tacoma NEEDS to do the same.

by NineInchNachos on 11/8/2012 @ 11:15am
I like it!   btw...

Artist Live/Work Space: Can It Work in Tacoma?
Join Arts Leadership Lab on November 28th for a panel discussion and question and answer time exploring what live/work space is, some of the issues and benefits related to artist live/work spaces, how it can be done sustainably and affordably,
ways to use/reuse Tacoma’s current architectural assets, and other related topics.
Who Should Attend: Artists, advocates, developers, and anyone interested in continuing a conversation about artist live/work space and the reuse of historic buildings in Tacoma

When: Wednesday, November 28, 6 – 8 pm

Where: The New Frontier Lounge, 301 East 25th St, Tacoma

Cost: FREE, no RSVP needed
The panel of experts includes:

Rebecca Morton, ArtSpace

Ben Ferguson, BLRB Architects

Deanne Belinoff, artist and resident at Tashiro Kaplan live/work space

Sharon Winters, Historic Tacoma
Introduction by Amy McBride, Arts Administrator for the City of Tacoma

Moderated by Traci Kelly, Tacoma Arts Commission and Arts Leadership Lab

by NineInchNachos on 11/8/2012 @ 11:15am

by cisserosmiley on 11/8/2012 @ 11:38am
It might be the necessary motivation landlords need to lower rents...they're too damn high!

by cisserosmiley on 11/14/2012 @ 8:31am

This article is full of facts & history...I prefer conjecture & emotional appeal, but facts & history r ok 2

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2013 @ 8:15pm
Is Detroit the model for the future ?