There are two sides to a coin, two edges on a sword, and two realities in a feast-or-famine world.

When times were good, cities spent lavishly, granting lucrative contracts to employees, and promising extraordinary services to residents.

Stockton built a new baseball park, sports arena, and downtown marina. Other areas use the development fees and property and sales taxes to fund other gentrification programs. But now that the boom years are over, the lingering costs of those programs, buildings, and fringe services are continuing to drain municipal budgets, forcing some municipalities to use the B-word: bankruptcy.

From the Sacramento Bee:

The B-word – bankruptcy – is being bandied about in Stockton these days as the city faces a $37 million budget deficit with no light at the end of the fiscal tunnel.

Mayor Ann Johnston uttered it this month, telling local civic leaders, “We will do everything, absolutely everything, in our power to avoid bankruptcy.”

Read the full article here.