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News Link • Government Debt & Financing

Stockton residents watch their port city slip away

•, By Diana Marcum
  The name painted in the plate-glass window, "Bradley's," has a martini glass standing in for the "y."

The late-afternoon sun has turned the other windows into mirrors. Deep inside, in bar-appropriate shadow, patrons rest their drinks on 100-year-old mahogany and, as in many a neighborhood pub, consider hopes gone astray.

Across the way are a marina without boats and parking garages without cars. There are few people outside on downtown sidewalks.
Within the next three months, Stockton could become the nation's largest city to file for protection from creditors under U.S. bankruptcy code. Using a new California law, the City Council is trying to slow or stop the bust by entering mediation with creditors, including public employee unions. In the meantime, the Central Valley port city of 300,000 has suspended several bond payments and will not cash out vacation or sick time for employees who leave.

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