Union leaders would rather the city drift into bankruptcy than make concessions on contracts

Act 47 is a mechanism Reading can use to seek designation as a distressed city and try to get its finances and taxes under control without falling into bankruptcy.

File for protection fast, recommended a 13-member Financial Stability Panel of business and governmental leaders who have been meeting since April to come up with ideas on how to cope with a $15 million budget gap.

The city would receive state-paid professional help to create a long-term recovery plan and gain more clout during labor negotiations.

Three guesses who voted against it. Right, the three current and former labor officials on the panel.

"It gives us less power in negotiating the next contract," said panel member Keith Eschelman, president of Local 1803 of the International Association of Firefighters.

Which is exactly the point.

Will the world end on December 21, 2012?