Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting the Bay Area recently, I noted stories in the local papers detailing how the city of Vallejo is still teetering on the edge of bankruptcy (third item). With the city council apparently running short on magic wands, a group of local activists hopes that a ballot initiative can help solve the city's problems:
Frustrated with the financial train wreck in Vallejo, a group of residents said Wednesday that they hope to place an initiative on the fall ballot that would give the city more power in negotiating with its unions.
The group, called Citizens for Vallejo, wants to remove binding arbitration from the city charter, which would mean that labor disputes would no longer be decided by a third-party arbitrator. The city has lost every dispute that went to arbitration, including a ruling last year over minimum Fire Department staffing that is costing the city $4 million a year.
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