Two Small Cities With Big Troubles

By Ashton Ellis, Orange County Register - July 27, 2010

California's intensifying economic tremors are widening the divide between two approaches to government: retrofitters and façades. With the fiscal "big one" likely to strike all levels of the state's administration in the next year, each response will be judged by how well it braces for the coming seismic collapse of public finances.

For "retrofitters" like the city of Maywood, it is the worst of times. Southeast of Los Angeles, Maywood encompasses 1.14 square miles. Most of its 45,000 residents are working-class Hispanics. And like a number of California communities, the city is facing a severe budget deficit.

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