Target: Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty
Goal: End drastic public worker salary cuts by filing for bankruptcy.
In the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mayor Chris Doherty has reduced the salaries of all public workers to the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The Mayor defied a court order by making the cuts, maintaining that the city simply doesn’t have the money to pay employees. The city of Scranton clearly needs to file for bankruptcy rather than reduce hard-working city families to poverty.
Scranton faces a 16.8 million budget deficit, and officials say the city’s financial situation is too poor to qualify for a loan. The salary cuts affect almost 400 firefighters, police, and other city employees, including the mayor himself. Doherty believes the budget solution lies in severe tax increases, but the city council has blocked this endeavor, insisting that residents can barely afford the taxes already in place. Local unions state that the salary cuts are a bullying technique to pass Doherty’s tax increases.
It would appear that bankruptcy is the only remaining option, but the mayor insists that this would be a ‘scarlet letter’ for the city’s credit. The mayor is ignoring the fact that his severe wage cuts may push hundreds of families into personal bankruptcy, a far worse fate. The city has a responsibility to protect its citizens and employees, and should never preserve its own interests over those of the populace. The extreme salary reductions will leave many without the means to pay mortgages, car payments, and other daily expenses.
By signing the petition below, you can demand that Mayor Chris Doherty protect his citizens by filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
Dear Mayor Doherty,
Your recent salary cuts to city employees will devastate countless local families in your town. While it’s commendable that you’ve included your own salary in these cuts, you’ve committed hundreds of employees to this change without their approval and without a full understanding of their financial situations.
The fact that the city doesn’t have enough money to pay its employees nor the means to take out a loan is an obvious sign of bankruptcy. Although your concerns about the credit effects of filing for bankruptcy are valid, they should not take precedence over the credit of families who depend on well-earned salaries. You have a responsibility to act on behalf of the citizens of Scranton, and this decision is not in their best interest. Please accept the reality of your situation and declare bankruptcy rather than continue paying minimum wage to city employees.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: taberandrew via Flickr.