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Stockton Mayor Says City Poised For a Comeback



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(Stockton, CA)
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston says jobs are coming to her city…and soon.  But, before anyone can celebrate, the city has to find its way out of a financial swamp first.   

The city has a $26 million budget deficit  and more than $700 million in benefit obligations and bond debt.  Stockton and its creditors are in mediation over those items as the city tries to avoid bankruptcy.  Johnston seems pleased with the progress of talks. 

JOHNSTON: "It's going as good as can be expected.  I mean, The creditors didn't throw up their hands and say, 'No, we don't want to talk.' So, that's good.  I mean, just getting people to the table is important."

The city will know by the end of June how much of its debt will be forgiven. 

Johnston says Stockton is poised for a tremendous rebound . There are a billion dollars in water supply, hospital, freeway interchange, and export expansion projects starting this year.  She says those will result in about 3500 new jobs. 

Things appear to be turning around for the city's business climate. 

JOHNSTON:  "Every month, I sign letters welcoming new businesses -most of them small business- to our community. Over 100 every month are taking out business licenses and locating here.  That's really good news for us."

Johnston says foreclosures in the city are down, and applications for new business licenses are now up to about a hundred a month.
 
She spoke before 800 people at the State of the City event at the Port of Stockton.
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