Oakland, Calif. Plunges Deeper Into Debt

Oakland's image as a tough, blue-collar city is getting even tougher as the city faces a $42-million deficit and other financial problems.

At least the Bay Area city's football team, the Oakland Raiders, are starting to try to turn things around by bringing in a new quarterback. The city government may need a similar revamp as it confronts ballooning pension costs that will push the its projected deficit to $58.7 million by July 2011.

The biggest portion of that budget shortfall is a debt payment of $43.9 million, due July 1, 2011, to the old Police and Fire Retirement System. The hefty payment would be more than 10 percent of the roughly $400- million city budget.