Providence, Rhode Island’s capital and biggest city, probably will seek bankruptcy court protection to deal with a budget deficit, Robert Flanders, the state-appointed receiver for nearby Central Falls, said Tuesday.
“I don’t see how they can get out of it without going there,” said Flanders, a former state Supreme Court justice and a partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP. He put Central Falls into bankruptcy in August and has used the city’s legal status to tear up contracts with city workers and cut pension benefits.
The key point of this article is that it is the opinion of Judge Flanders that Providence will seek bankruptcy, not reality (although the risk is certainly there).
I also do not understand why Judge Flanders would speculate on the record regarding something that could inflame the pessimism surrounding this issue.
I do not understand most of what Flanders does, or why he is in such demand to deal with these issues. The City of Providence has paid him for legal advice. Then he goes off running his mouth… I don’t get it.
I have a suggestion. In fact I mentioned it at the State of The City address givin by Mayor Taveras at Zuccolo Center a week or so ago. Tax every property, every single one. That includes churches, hospitals, and educational facilities. But I singled out the propertied that got abatements of 10 or 20 years. Just rescind the tax breaks on the mall, Gtech, Westin, etc. and you’d cover the gap.
And the Mayor, true to form, said that wasn’t the case and all the jobs and that bullshit.
From the PBN Article (thanks Jef): “Legal analysts consider bankruptcy as something to be avoided at all costs. Governments already have the tools they need to deal with debt and budget issues, Richard L. Sigal, who teaches at the University of Connecticut Law School and is a partner at Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, said during a panel discussion at the conference.”
This assumes that elected officials can control items such as the 7.7% ($23MM) budget increase requested by the school department to pay things such as step increases, longevity pay, and other benefits , etc. (per today’s projo) not seen in private industry. Why has this persisted for so long? Oh, of course, so the elected officials who knew how to take but were obviously unable or unwilling to manage money could stay in office (thanks David C. and long time city council members). The taxpayers should be able to sue individuals for negligence.
WPRI: Flanders emerging as leading national proponent of Chapter 9
RIPEC insists that bankruptcy is not the answer and the state should work hard to avoid it. [.pdf]