Thursday, October 20, 2011

With or without the 'h'

or if I had seen this, I would have just used it today..... 

Just out from Pittsburgh and Harrisburg: A tale of two deep-in-debt cities

I still have not had a chance to update much of it with the 2011 data, but on that we will gratuitously relink my iPension page with all the numbers you can ever really use on the city's pension funding... or it would if I had time to update it. Also gratuitous, but don't you long for the days when the pension fund was not a problem and fully on track to becoming fully funded

and speaking of Downtown Pittsburgh..  just caught this in the news from New Mexico: Former Pittsburgh mayor urges innovation and risk.  There is a quote near the end that is...  well it is.


Anonymous BrianTH said...

Note also that Corbett just signed a bill allowing him to appoint a receiver to take over Harrisburg's accounts if the city doesn't accept a state-approved financial plan within 30 days.

As I was saying before, in the event that a city refuses to pay its creditors but the state doesn't want to let that city enter Chapter 9, a state takeover is an option. And apparently it is an option that Corbett and his state allies don't mind using.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:25:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Note that they felt compelled to pass a whole new law suggesting that this whole thing is ad hoc. I have no idea how this will turn out, but making the state drive the knife in explicitly is not the same, politically, as letting bond holders and the city council do it under existing state law.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 3:22:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Oh, it is definitely ad hoc, because the old law actually does provide a mechanism for cities (not of the second class) to enter Chapter 9. It isn't clear whether Harrisburg took all the necessary steps first, but obviously they were heading that way.

As for the politics--I guess we shall see. I was just reading how the ICA forced the City to add $10 million more to its proposed 2012 pension contributions. I am detecting a notable lack of angry villagers with pitchforks (a notable contrast to the public response to that dastardly parking lease plan, which the City has now almost entirely duplicated except without the good parts).

And even if there are angry villagers in Harrisburg today, the obvious question for the relevant political officials would be whether many of them were Republican voters anyway.

So it is not looking good for the hypothesis that forcing the state to more "explicitly knife" these municipalities will stimulate new political constraints. But I guess we can still hope the backlash is yet to come.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:00:00 PM  
Blogger Infinonymous said...

From the thoroughgoing failure of Tom Murphy (whose "mission accomplished" tour apparently may last as long as Pittsburgh's attempt to recover from his performance as mayor) to the heady days of Ravenstahl, Kunka and the honorable Motznik confidently declaring victory-in-progress . . . that's a lot of depressing flashback in one post.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Tom Murphy had his screw-ups -- his Fifth/Forbes plan was a notable one -- but he was also the one who set all the riverfront redevelopment into motion, and for that he should be thanked. As for the stadiums, I would have preferred that they be financed by bonds, but even when I was 10 years old, I always found it funny that Three Rivers Stadium was a quarter of a mile from downtown Pittsburgh, and yet, you'd never know from inside. And it was good to use some of the most prime real estate in western Pennsylvania as something other than a parking lot.

In spite of his mistakes, if Tom Murphy was even half as bad of a mayor as many people imply that he was, then he wouldn't be getting paid to travel the country to give advice on urban development to other U.S. cities. Was he as good as David L. Lawrence or Richard Caligiuri? No. But I'd much rather have him as mayor than Pete Flaherty or Luke Ravenstahl.

Friday, October 21, 2011 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Talk about lowered expectations.

Friday, October 21, 2011 1:49:00 PM  

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