Council voted 4-0, with President Bob McGoff and Councilmen Joe Wechsler, Wayne Evans and Bill Gaughan all in favor, to introduce an ordinance to adopt the recovery plan crafted by the city’s Act 47 recovery coordinator, Pennsylvania Economy League.
Councilman Pat Rogan was absent.
Before the meeting, council held a caucus with PEL officials Gerald Cross and Joseph Boyle, city Business Administrator David Bulzoni, and Jim Rose of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, which oversees PEL.
A Spring Garden Township businessman was put in charge of the York City School District on Friday and tasked with implementing a financial recovery plan that could see all district buildings turned into charter schools run by an outside company.
York County Judge Stephen Linebaugh on Friday granted a petition from the state education department to name David Meckley as receiver for the city school district, which gives Meckley all of the school board’s powers except for levying taxes.
Meckley, who has been the state-appointed chief recovery officer for the district for about two years, guided the creation of a financial recovery plan for the district. The plan, adopted in 2013, called for internal reform but included a path to charter conversion if progress wasn’t made.
The state, in its request for receivership, said the school board wasn’t following the plan for reasons including that the school board tabled a decision in November on turning all district schools into charters next year after Meckley directed them to approve it. The board also approved a new teachers’ contract that was inconsistent with the recovery plan, the state said.
A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ten years and four months ago, then-Mayor Tom Murphy stood before a cadre of media to deliver grim news.
By the time he stepped up to speak, eyes moistened with tears, Pittsburgh city government had been sputtering along like an airplane held together by duct tape, according to a former finance director. But now the plane was about to take a nose dive — with the possibility of bankruptcy hovering.
“I hate doing this,” Mr. Murphy told the reporters.
He announced plans to lay off 731 city workers — including police officers — and leave hundreds more positions unfilled. All but six city pools would be drained and closed early — along with 19 recreation centers that were, in many places, critical gathering spots for sports and community events. Later that year, the city’s credit rating would be downgraded, making it the only major American city whose debt was rated “junk.” A fifth of the city’s budget went to pay off old debt.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) – Casual-dining restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday issued a press release last week meant to show investors that the company is taking steps to turn itself around, but what it told me is that theroad to recovery may be a long one.
Coming on the heels of worse-than-expected results for its fiscal first quarter and then the sudden resignations of the company’s chairman and a key vice president, plus a downgrade of its debt by Moody’s deeper into junk territory, the press release gave more details about the cost-cutting initiatives Ruby Tuesday is undertaking in attempts to right its ship.
In its efforts to cut $6 million from its selling, general and administrative costs beginning in 2015, the company is reviewing its cost structure. The first move will be the elimination of 50 jobs at its Maryville, Tenn., restaurant support center. Next, the restaurant chain will hire a consulting firm to help it cut cost of goods sold and other restaurant operating costs.
In a first in several years, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty on Thursday attended a city council meeting that was a public hearing on their joint revised recovery plan.
The mayor – who usually bears the brunt of a barrage of negative comments and criticism from council and some regular attendees at weekly council meetings – had not attended a council session in about six years, council President Janet Evans said.
However, the city’s financial crisis has finally made for some strange bedfellows between the mayor and council majority, who usually are mortal political enemies. After months of a bitter mayor/council stalemate over revising the city’s Act 47 recovery plan that would be acceptable to banks and the city’s recovery coordinator, Pennsylvania Economy League, the mayor and Mrs. Evans reached an accord July 27. As a result, she said she asked the mayor to attend the hearing, and he agreed.
“It was a milestone,” Mrs. Evans said of the mayor’s appearance. “We’re very pleased to be working with him.”
SCRANTON, PA – The Lackawanna County Court set a hearing date more than a month away on Mayor Chris Doherty’s lawsuit to get his financial recovery plan implemented, effectively increasing pressure on the mayor and city council to resolve the issue through negotiations.
The Aug. 3 court date allows council solicitor Boyd Hughes the legally required time to respond to the city’s lawsuit, a court official said. The suit asks the court to order the mayor’s recovery plan implemented or to order a council vote on it.
But with the city running out of money, facing increasingly impatient creditors and the mayor unilaterally slashing 398 employees’ pay to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to save money, the far-off court hearing date at least temporarily dashed hopes for a quick resolution.
“It can’t wait until August,” city Councilman Bob McGoff said by telephone after the hearing. “I think what it means is that the mayor and the council president need to get together before Aug. 3.”
Scranton‘s revised recovery plan, which is supposed to be due today, will be late.
But the tardiness won’t mean much, Mayor Chris Doherty said.
“That’s not a hard deadline,” he said.
The deadline was imposed in January by a consortium of wary banks when they loaned the city an $11.5 million tax-anticipation note, because the banks wanted assurances that the city has a viable recovery plan to deal with its historical structural budget deficits and be able to repay any future loans, officials said.
While council members said Thursday a failure to meet the deadline technically could be considered a default, Mr. Doherty said there are no penalties for tardiness and the more important aspects are that the TAN is repaid and progress is made on a recovery plan.
David Unkovic, most recently chief counsel of the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development, was named by Gov. Tom Corbett to lead Harrisburg quickly out of financial distress. He will be assisted by the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge.
At a press conference, Unkovic deflected concerns about his past, including 23 years at the firm of Saul Ewing, which represents Assured Guaranty, the largest insurer of Harrisburg incinerator bonds. He’s also worked for other firms that have ties to the incinerator debacle, including Public Finance Management and RBC Capital Markets…
Harrisburg, Pa — It may be a difficult road ahead for Harrisburg’s latest financial recovery plan, as several council members tonight voiced significant concerns over Mayor Linda Thompson’s Act 47 alternative.
Councilman Brad Koplinski complained that the mayor did not explore the potential of implementing a 1 percent, county-wide sales tax, nor did her plan include any concessions from bond insurer AGM…
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