Bankruptcy for Chester? Not So Fast, Says Mayor

Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland
Image via Media NewsGroup.
Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland at a 2021 press conference.

Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland disagrees with the state-appointed receiver for Chester, who talked about declaring bankruptcy for the city, writes Kathleen E. Carey for the Daily Times.

“I don’t agree with bankruptcy,” the mayor said.

Chester has been under state receivership since 2020 and under state financial oversight since 1995.

Receiver Michael T. Doweary said Sept. 13 that he is looking at Chester declaring bankruptcy to help move it toward solid financial footing since a $46.5 million deficit is anticipated next year.

Pennsylvania Act 47 authorizes the receiver to file for bankruptcy. He received authorization from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Community and Economic Development in February to proceed with bankruptcy filings.

A bankruptcy filing would let Chester negotiate with creditors to give the city a fresh start.

But bankruptcy would hurt long-term employees who won’t receive health benefits and a pension, Mayor Kirkland said.

It would also be harder to fill empty positions.  

“It’s hard to bring the talent you need to run a city when those types of conversations are going on,” Kirkland said.

“The receiver remains open to suggestions that truly fix Chester’s finances by ensuring that recurring revenues cover recurring expenses and that provide for vital and necessary services.” Doweary’s office said Friday.

Read more at the Daily Times about a Chester bankruptcy proposal.

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