Office of Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland
Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Aigner Cleveland
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland Issues Statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s Fiscal Emergency Declaration for Chester
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created immediate dire economic challenges for the city of Chester. As a result of the virus’ financial impact on the City, Gov. Tom Wolf has issued a Fiscal Emergency Declaration for Chester.
(CHESTER, PA) – Chester City Council and I have worked diligently with the state-appointed recovery coordinator, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and the Governor’s office over the last several years in efforts to address the fiscal morass that has plagued the city for nearly three decades. Within these partnerships, the goal has always been to restore the city’s financial stability.
As a retired state legislator, who represented the 159th Legislative District for 24 years, I came home to Chester to work with a Council who was committed to revitalizing and restoring this community. This administration has done everything within its power and reach to establish strong partnerships with the state and the Act 47 coordinator; while complying with the Adopted Recovery Plan. Despite all of this administration’s accomplishments and efforts to implement the recommendations outlined by Act 47, the city is faced with financial challenges that extend beyond our control—challenges that are ever mounting.
As the world faces an unforeseen global health pandemic with the Coronavirus
(COVID-19), an unprecedented number of countries, states, cities, businesses, and people will have to shoulder the force of the virus’ social and economic impact. More specifically, and suddenly, the virus has brought those residual implications to the doors of our local government.
In response to the current environment, with respect to the virus, Council and I have been in constant communication with local, state, and federal officials to assist us with the navigation of lost revenues, workforce impact, and most importantly the community we serve.
In light of all of the uncertainty in the near future, I have communicated with Governor Tom Wolf and we, the members of Chester City Council, support the declaration of a fiscal emergency. This declaration is necessary to protect the city of Chester from financial devastation that could potentially bankrupt the city.
This decision was not made lightly. It was made, in part, to ensure the continuity of services to our residents, which includes their public welfare and safety.
Through this emergent situation, this administration and Governor Tom Wolf’s office will remain committed to working together, with the goal of smoothly transitioning Chester to a financial stable position.
Although this time may be uneasy, I am confident in the partnership the city has with the state. All parties involved are resolved in doing what is necessary to make sure that the residents of Chester remain top priority.
Government must run, services must be provided, and people of Chester will be served!