No deficit of community spirit in California town after bankruptcy

From Washington Times:

VALLEJO, Calif. — Cobblestones show through the decrepit pavement in Sheila Dodson’s downtown neighborhood, prostitutes ply the sidewalks in broad daylight and many of the century-old Victorians stand empty. Yet this is where Ms. Dodson wants to raise her family.

“Just because the coffers are poor doesn’t mean there’s not opportunity,” she said while walking with her toddler daughter along the broken streets.

Vallejo has emerged from bankruptcy with a newfound commitment to community involvement that is exemplified by upbeat residents like Ms. Dodson and a local government now focused on innovation. But the financial fixes envisioned when the city filed in 2008 haven’t all materialized, and Vallejo continues to operate in the red.

With two other California cities recently filing for bankruptcy, a third about to and others in trouble, Vallejo offers an example of what good — and bad — can come from a Chapter 9 filing.

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Photo courtesy of kenteegardin, flickr