The crime-ridden and gang-infested cesspool that is Stockton is home right now to almost as much national and international media as it was during the Sandra Cantu murder trial. The question is whether or not the city will be the largest municipality in the U.S. to declare bankruptcy. The vote to decide which way to go will be made by the city council tonight. Since only one council member is strongly opposed to the bankruptcy it is very likely that is the way the city will go.
The legally mandatory mediation period ended late last night.
Stockton is 162 years old, making it one of the oldest cities in the state. The population is not quite 300,000, which is roughly half the population of San Joaquin County.
The decision, if it is made tonight, will take effect Wednesday. The city leaders assert that most residents will not even notice the bankruptcy as city services (such as they are) will continue. The city is facing a $26 million deficit and has been hit hard by the recession and falling real estate values as well as bad decisions made over a number of years regarding retirement costs, especially retiree health care.