Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 – 8:14 am

Sacramento’s city manager, John Shirey, delivered a sobering report to his City Council the other day, telling members that the capital city is nearly $2 billion in debt and that handling it will be an ongoing challenge.

“I know these numbers are big and seem scary,” Shirey told The Bee. “This is about trying to inform and make people aware that the city does have debts and liabilities, and we are managing them.”

Unfortunately, Sacramento is one of the few local governments taking such a proactive look at debt. And that’s because many of their balance sheets haven’t fully revealed those debts – especially long-term pension and retiree health care commitments.

The tendency among local officials – much like their brethren in the state Capitol – is to make financial commitments with little thought to long-term consequences.

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