(ABC News) The drumbeat of cities filing bankruptcy grows louder: San Bernardino has become the third California city in two weeks to go bust, after Stockton (the biggest U.S. city so far to file) and the small Sierra hamlet of Mammoth Lakes.
The L.A. Times reports that San Bernardino’s filing is certain to heighten worries about the fiscal solvency of other California towns. But the next bankruptcy might not come from California: Scranton, Pa., is so cash-strapped that on Friday it made an unprecedented move and cut the pay of its municipal workers to $7.25 an hour–minimum wage.
While Scranton’s crisis has been sudden, San Bernadino’s has been years in the making: An analysis prepared by the city’s finance department blames “accounting errors, deficit spending, lack of revenue growth and increases in pension and debt costs.” The recession hit the city hard. San Diego County has the third-highest rate of foreclosures in the nation.
The “accounting errors” may not have been innocent.