There is a a political narrative in San Bernardino spread by Mayor Pat Morris and his anti-public safety allies on the City Council that the pensions offered to Police Officers and Fire Fighters is the main reason the City had to declare bankruptcy.
That is an untrue fiction perpetrated by the Morris political faction to deflect blame away from the Pat Morris’s failures in office and to fuel support for the dangerous cuts Pat Morris and his cronies would like to impose on public safety in San Bernardino.
In November 2012, a study compiled by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley concluded “a high per-capita ratio of police cuts down on violent crime, and saves money.”
The study pointed out “that each dollar spent on police is associated with approximately $1.60 in reduced victimization cost.”
It then went on to rank the 30 most under-policed cities in the United States. San Bernardino came in at #19.
Not in California, but in the United States!
Please note San Bernaridno filed bankruptcy only the months before, and the “exodus” of sworn officers and civilian staff had not even begun to heat up. So the numbers released in the study are “pre-bankruptcy.”
Since that time, Mayor Morris and his City Council Majority attempted to sell the San Bernardino Police Department, and promised the same with the Fire Department.
Just how bad have Mayor Pat Morris’ public safety policies been for San Bernardino?
One need look no further than an incident that happened a couple of nights back.
San Bernardino police arrested two suspected taggers late Wednesday after they were caught on camera spray-painting a light pole right outside of the Police Department.
An officer spotted the vandalism about 9:30 p.m. on suveillance cameras and went outside the D Street station with several other officers.
Mayor Morris’ failed policy have extremely weakened the San Bernardino Police Department and criminals know it. His failures put residents and families at grave risk.
If criminals are not afraid of breaking the law a few feet away from the Police Station, how afraid does anyone think they are of breaking the laws throughout the community?
San Bernardino City Councilman John Valdivia should not be recalled.
In addition to the staggering $220,000 cost of holding a Recall Election only weeks away from the regularly scheduled Citywide Election, Valdivia’s record in office does not merit a recall.
As was previously reported, John Valdivia – along with Councilmembers Robert Jenkins and Chas Kelly – has consistently fought against the foolish policies of Mayor Pat Morris and his misguided majority on the San Bernardino City Council.
San Bernardino resident Deb Bunger made an excellent case in The Sun as to why residents should not be tricked into signing the recall petitions against John Valdivia.
As his eight years as the Mayor of San Bernardino come to a close, Pat Morris has not only ruined the City but he’s made San Bernardino the shame of the Inland Empire.
Mayor Morris’ record of failure is well known.
His financial mismanagement drove San Bernardino over the fiscal cliff and into bankruptcy.
His disregard for public safety has seen a hollowing out of the San Bernardino Police Department and a rapid rise in crime throughout the community.
His misguided priorities have harmed San Bernardino’s business community and resulted in record levels of unemployment for residents.
Surrounding cities are now picking up a common mantra:
We’re Not San Bernardino.
Is the City of San Bernardino eligible for bankruptcy?
That’s a question that will likely be answered this August.
Last week the federal bankruptcy court set a tentative date of August 28, 2013 to determine whether or not San Bernardino’s bankruptcy can proceed.
While the San Bernardino Police Officers Association has not contested the City’s bankruptcy claims, the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) has argued that San Bernardino is not eligible for bankruptcy.
Today the San Bernardino Police Officers Association released the following statement from Association President Steve Turner opposing the recall of all city officials
On May 8, 2013, the San Bernardino Police Officers Association issued a statement opposing the recall of Councilmembers Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia and Chas Kelly.
As stated then, Councilmembers Jenkins, Valdivia, and Kelly have always put the safety of San Bernardino’s residents first and San Bernardino’s Police Officers stand with them against the effort to recall them from office.
Since that time, it has been determined that the cost of holding a citywide Recall Election for all of the elected officials in the City of San Bernardino would be approximately $222,000. This is a huge amount of money that the City cannot afford.
An unexpected cost to the City adds to the financial burdens of the City. These extra costs could translate to more cuts to public safety. Any additional cuts to San Bernardino’s Police and Fire Departments would be extremely harmful to the safety of San Bernardino’s neighborhoods and families.
Additionally, given the fact that there is a regularly scheduled election for Mayor and three City Council Wards in November, we consider it an unwise burden to require San Bernardino’s taxpayers to pick up any additional costs beyond that of the General Election.
For these reasons the San Bernardino Police Officers Association believes the regularly scheduled November Election is the best forum for voters to voice either their support or dissatisfaction with the Mayor and the City Council.
San Bernardino City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson to seems to have some interesting views on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Councilman Rikke Van Johnson calls criticism of his voting record “villainous.”
At the June 3, 2013 meeting of the San Bernardino City Council, Rikke Van Johnson publicly called the constitutionally protected Free Speech activities of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association as acts of “terrorization.”
Councilman Van Johnson further went on to call the Police Officers public criticism of his record on the City Council as “villainous.”
What’s going on here? Why is Rikke Van Johnson speaking out against Free Speech?
Since 2007, the City of San Bernardino has collected over $28 million through the voter-approved Measure Z.
The voters directed the Mayor and the City Council to spend the tax dollars generated by Measure Z to make San Bernardino’s neighborhoods and families safer.
But where has the money gone?
That’s the topic of a recent mailer sent by the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.
Although the City has been collecting millions of dollars in additional tax revenues, Mayor Pat Morris along with his rubber stamp City Council majority have made deep cuts to public safety that have resulted in San Bernardino losing roughly 30% of it’s Police Officers.
Mayor Pat Morris and his allies have mismanaged the City of San Bernardino into bankruptcy.
Are they also mishandling the San Bernardino’s bankruptcy itself?
That’s the assertion made in an article by San Joaquin County news site, Recordnet.com on May 27, 2013.
The article compares the differences between the way Stockton and San Bernardino have gone about bankruptcy. The article asserts:
If there’s a right way to go about municipal bankruptcy, Stockton may prove to be the poster child. If there’s a wrong way, look to San Bernardino.
As the City of San Bernardino under the failed leadership of Mayor Pat Morris is putting public safety on the back burner, crime is on the rise.
Including attacks against police Officers.
According to the San Bernardino Sun:
More than 6,000 peace officers in San Bernardino County have been victims of assaults and threats in the last three years, including 2,100 in 2012 alone. More than 600 of the 2012 incidents involved felonies, including officers being struck, shot at or threatened with injury or death.
Prosecutors from San Bernardino County are hearing more and more of these reports lately, which include incidents both on the streets and in the jails.