Just as the city of Pinole began to recover from the politically bruising recall campaign of 2008, it was battered by the economic downturn.
The attention switched from the political shenanigans of ousted council members Maria Alegria and Stephen Tilton to the crumbling budget.
General fund revenues have declined about 22 percent in the last five years. City staffing has been cut 35 percent.
The size of the police department has been cut by nearly a third. The fire department has been trimmed by a quarter, resulting in the closure of one of the two fire stations. The public works department is less than half the size it used to be.
The post-recall council deserves credit for keeping the city afloat, making painful cuts to head off a financial calamity. We applaud the work they've done and we see no reason to create more political turmoil by replacing the incumbents seeking re-election, Roy Swearingen and Peter Murray.
Even challenger Ivette Ricco gives them a B for their performance. That's exceptional considering the obstacles they've faced.
More painful decisions lie ahead. Swearingen and Murray have proved they can do the job.