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STOCKTON, CA - Stockton city councilman Dale Fritchen said Thursday he's never felt stronger about an issue before him. He was referring to the expected move next week by the Stockton City Council to begin the bankruptcy process.

"This will hurt Stockton, hurt my neighbors, my family, and my community. I'm putting everything in to make sure this doesn't happen," said Fritchen.

Several sources have said Stockton's agenda Tuesday will include a vote on beginning the bankruptcy process. The first step involves approving a 60-day window for mediation that might help the city avoid bankruptcy.

Even though a city can theoretically reduce what it owes to creditors and employees by going into bankruptcy, University of the Pacific political science professor Bob Benedetti said it has other results as well.

"People may not want to do business with you, you have trouble selling bonds in the future, and the general image of your city, among other cities, may decline," said Benedetti.

Stockton City Manager Bob Deis has scheduled a Friday morning news conference to addressthe city's fiscal status and Tuesday's meeting.

By tdaly@news10.net

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