Stockton, Calif., Faces Bankruptcy

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Confidentiality requirements preclude the city, its unions or its other creditors from commenting publicly on the outcome of those negotiations.

"We have to be prepared for any potential outcome of the confidential mediation," Mayor Johnston said in a statement last week. "If we don't reach agreements with our creditors that help us avoid insolvency, we have to be prepared with alternatives that we have worked so hard to avoid," meaning bankruptcy.

City Manager Bob Deis said in the same statement, "This is not where any of us wanted to be, but, absent restructuring agreements with our creditors, any other options would decimate the city.

If the city files for bankruptcy protection, he said, "Stocktonians will not see any measurable change in service levels, come July 1."

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