Fresno’s efforts to improve its financial conditions has turned to garbage. An effort to infuse the City with $1.5 million in cash – plus about $200,000 per month on an ongoing basis – would have a private contractor handle garbage and recycling collection for the City. But that move may face a challenge on a ballot, as interest groups push for a referendum.

It’s the latest in a string of moves to try to ensure the fiscal solvency of the city that, as Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee points out, once stood as a breaker against a turbulent time for local governments. Now, however, cash flow appears to be tight enough to endanger payroll and city services. Moody’s has dropped the City’s credit rating again in recent weeks, bringing it to Aa2.

But municipal finance, unlike that at the state or federal level, is not fluid. Preventing savings through outsourcing garbage collection, Walters notes, could result in job losses for other Fresno employees as the City works to pay its weekly and monthly bills.

Read the full opinion at the Sacramento Bee.