I think some of the past practices that has been prevalent in the bygone years have slowly come to an end. The city employs 98 full time (this number is citywide, not just the sanitation dept as some people might assume) and 65 part time (which would include- crossing guards, program instructors at the community center, EMA's (fancy name for civil defense), council members, members on a board, etc.
Town status vs City status, both have their pros and cons, but like most things, it depends on who you talk to.
Why should the city of Whiting cower in a corner and not fight, wouldn't you give it your all if it was your home? Yes, sometimes it appears to be a losing battle, but in the end (whichever way it turns out) it can never be said that Whiting didn't give it their all.
Maybe BP can cut a deal with Mittal and buy up some of his steel plant (especially the lakefront part and canal) I'm sure the steelworkers would enjoy losing their jobs, just as Whiting people would enjoy losing their homes as you suggested.