An Interview With City Council Candidate Casey Dailey

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy is happy to bring you this online interview with City Council Candidate Casey Dailey.

Casey Dailey

Casey Dailey, candidate for San Bernardino City Council in Ward 1.

Casey Dailey is one of two candidates challenging incumbent City Councilwoman Virginia Marquez who currently represents the 1st Ward on the San Bernardino City Council.

What do you believe the top priorities of the City of San Bernardino should be?

1.         Getting the City through the bankruptcy process through a Plan of Adjustment that  balances the annual expenditures, repays unpaid liabilities (that resulted from the bankruptcy), and creates a financial reserve to allow for unexpected costs.

2.         Creation of a Community and Economic Vision for San Bernardino that focuses on safe communities, sustainable job creation and economic development.

3.         Reforming City Hall so the City is more professionally run with clear lines of authority and accountability.  Specifically, the City Manager needs to be in charge of the day to day operations of the City with clear policy direction provided by the City Council.

The City Attorney should report directly to the City Council instead of being an elected official and the Mayor’s Office should be reorganized to allow the City Manager to utilize his professional staff that will implement the policies of the City Council.

If you are elected to the City Council, the City of San Bernardino will exit bankruptcy during your term in office. What policies need to be changed or implemented to ensure that a financial crisis like this does not happen to our City again?

There needs to be greater levels of transparency in the budgeting process so the Council (and public) can clearly see how much money is being brought in, how much money is being spent and where the money is going.

There needs to be an increased level of trust in staff to provide the Council with the best professional recommendation.

One specific policy I would implement is the formation of a financial reserve policy that would require the City to have approximately 50% of the annual operating expenses in a reserve account that can only be used in extreme circumstances.

In addition to the City’s financial problems, San Bernardino has an extremely high number of jobless residents. What do you believe the City should be doing to help residents find employment and bring jobs to San Bernardino?

An Interview With City Council Candidate John Abad

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy is pleased to bring you this online interview with City Council Candidate John Abad.

John Abad

Mr. Abad is challenging incumbent City Councilwoman Virginia Marquez to represent the 1st Ward on the San Bernardino City Council.

What do you believe the top priorities of the City of San Bernardino should be?

First, the city is currently in a fiscal crisis and needs to deal with the Bankruptcy to settle debts with the creditors.  No debt is completely wiped away clean. San Bernardino will have to pay a percentage of the debt it owes creditors.

Second, the city must understand that law enforcement (police and fire) is working overtime trying to rid the city of prostitution, homeless panhandlers, early released criminals, gangs, and violent criminals in the city.

The cut in funds and policemen have left the city with a staggering small force of approximately 12-15 police protecting the city at night, protecting about 200,000 citizens.

Third, San Bernardino is considered NOT business friendly.  To bring business creates jobs. Jobs create income where citizens will spend their money at local establishments. However, in this blighted city they currently travel to neighboring city’s to spend their money.

It is evident when a recent developer wanted to build a warehouse on Tippecanoe Avenue with a 12 million investment, to employ approximately 400 workers. But the City planning and Council did not approve the deal, until it was brought to the attention of the City Council about the stagnant city managers and planners not approving his plans after eight months.

The investor was about to abort the deal and bring litigation to Quit the city but the City Council all wanted to look good spent 45 more minutes patting themselves on the back to recommend that the plans be approved (the business had built two identical warehouses in other cities with the identical plans).

This was a despicable display of who wanted the whistle stop put on this man’s property anyway. This hostile climate toward businesses needs to stop.

If you are elected to the City Council, the City of San Bernardino will exit bankruptcy during your term in office. What policies need to be changed or implemented to ensure that a financial crisis like this does not happen to our City again?

An Interview with City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy is pleased to bring you the 8th in our series of online interviews with candidates running for Mayor of San Bernardino this November.

San Bernardino City Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Rikke Van Johnson.

San Bernardino City Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Rikke Van Johnson.

Today’s interview is with San Bernardino City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson who represents San Bernardino’s 6th Ward.

This is also the final interview of the series as three of the candidates for mayor (Richard Castro, Carey Davis and Matthew Korner) did not respond to our online interview request by returning answers to our questions.

If you’ve missed any of the previous mayoral candidate interviews, they have been all archived on the Mayor’s Race page.

And now our interview with Mayoral Candidate and City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson.

Councilman, thank you for your time today.

Councilman Johnson thank you for your time today.

You were first elected to the San Bernardino City Council in 2003, then re-elected in 2007 and 2011. During that time what were some of your major concerns about how the City was managing its finances?

My major concern was the utilization of reserve funds to support the general fund. When I first entered into office in 2004 San Bernardino had a reserve fund balance of over $12 million dollars.  The reserve fund balance was reduced to zero dollars by 2010.

What steps did you attempt to take to correct these problems that would eventually lead to the City of San Bernardino declaring bankruptcy?

Utilization of the reserve funds to support demands by director of departments I could not support, but I was just one vote. However, during the economic downturn in our economy the reserve funds became the only place to go for funds to aid the City’s general fund predicament.

Few cities were hurt by the housing crisis to the same extent as San Bernardino, where the median home value declined by 57.6% between 2007 and 2011 from $327,000 to just $147,000. This decline is more than any other large city in the United States.  By the end of 2012, almost 4.4% of homes in San Bernardino were in foreclosure, among the highest rates for all large cities.

Along with the massive loss in home values, unemployment rates have skyrocketed to the third-highest in the country among the largest cities.  The unemployment rate reached 17.6%, nearly double the U.S. rate and almost 10 percentage points higher than the city’s annual rate in 2007.

In 2006 San Bernardino generated $36,753,095 in sales tax revenue.  In 2013 sales tax plummeted to $20,111,523. In August of 2012, declining home values, declining sales tax and rising employee retirement costs forced the city to file for bankruptcy.

At the Budget Meeting on August 23, 2010 we were told by the City Treasurer that we could no longer use gimmicks to balance the budget. The City Manager stated that we were headed towards bankruptcy if we continued down this path without taking measures to prevent that disaster and brought forth recommendations to change our course.

Some policy makers said he was using ‘scare tactics’ by stating that we were heading into bankruptcy. I attempted to work on changing the course we were heading on. The votes were not there to alter the direction that we were on.

Last summer when the City suddenly declared bankruptcy, how did you vote on this action and why?

An Interview With Mayoral Candidate Henry Nickel

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy is pleased to bring you this interview with Mayoral Candidate Henry Nickel.

HenryNickel

Henry Nickel, candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino this November.

This is our sixth interview with individuals vying  to be San Bernardino’s next mayor. To read the interviews, please visit our Mayor’s Race page.

And don’t forget! The San Bernardino Police Officers Association is hosting a Mayoral Candidate Forum on Saturday, September 14th at Cal State San Bernardino.  

For more information or to reserve seats at this important civic event, please click here.

And now our interview with mayoral candidate, Henry Nickel.

Mr. Nickel thank you for taking the time to participate in this online interview.

What do you believe the top priorities of the City of San Bernardino should be?

First we must restore law and order.

The number one job of government is to provide public safety, everything else is secondary.  Private sector economic development will come if city hall remains focused on securing persons and property.

For decades San Bernardino served as a dumping ground for Southern California’s destitute and criminals.  With AB 109’s early release of convicted felons, we face a new tidal wave of crime throughout the city.   We cannot attract new businesses or residents if we remain a magnet for criminals.

Our police must be supported with the personnel, equipment and policies necessary to do their job.  It is a tough job that deserves our respect.  Our police in turn deserve a mayor and council that will not discourage law enforcement but work with officers who understand the nature of the threats we confront.

We also need to increase code enforcement, holding negligent owners accountable for blighted properties and the law enforcement costs associated with vast inventories of low income housing.

Second we need to begin an honest evaluation of our city’s financial condition, both how we got here and how we recover. 

An Interview With City Councilman John Valdivia

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy recently had the opportunity to have an online interview with John Valdivia, City Councilman representing San Bernardino’s 3rd Ward.

San Bernardino Ward 3 City Councilman John Valdivia.

San Bernardino Ward 3 City Councilman John Valdivia.

Councilman Valdivia is unfortunately a target of a questionable recall this November.

Valdivia was sworn into office mere months before the City of San Bernardino was forced to declare bankruptcy because of the failed leadership of Mayor Pat Morris.

Since joining the San Bernardino City Council, John Valdivia has consistently fought against the foolish policies of Pat Morris and been an unyielding advocate for the safety of the residents and families he’s elected to serve.

For those reasons and many others, the San Bernardino Police Officers Association strongly opposes the recall of City Councilman John Valdivia.

Now here’s our extremely candid interview with Councilman Valdivia.

Councilman Valdivia thank you for your time today.

You were elected to the San Bernardino City Council in November 2011, only a few months before the City declared bankruptcy. Going from being a candidate to the office holder, what things did you find eye opening or alarming once joining the Council that you knew needed to be changed?

I came to the council with a different mindset, that of a fresh new look and outsider coming into an organization with established behaviors and learned patterns of “how” things are done at city hall.

I did not believe then, nor do I believe now, that I have it all figured out. Nevertheless, I remain focused on essentials and the corresponding commitments to my residents that I committed to during my campaign in 2011.

San Bernardino city government needs to break the mold and retool. Our City must stop being putting out the welcome mat for parolees, panhandlers and homeless. We must insist on tougher measures to crack down on those who diminish the safety of our residents and reduce our city’s ability to attract new businesses and jobs.

One major eye-opener after taking office in March of 2012 was to witness the ego and arrogance of many city administrators—especially our former City Manager Charles McNeeley.

As a Councilman, I’ve been challenging the mindset of city government officials to get them focused on the needs of our residents. We must be focused on practical solutions to improve the quality of life for residents. It isn’t complicated and very easy to make good decisions for the good of our community.

Just a few months after you took office the City of San Bernardino declared bankruptcy. How did you vote on this action and why?

An Interview with City Councilwoman Wendy McCammack

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy is please to bring you the fifth in our series of interviews with candidates for Mayor of San Bernardino in the November 2013.

Wendy McCammack, candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino and City Councilwoman.

Wendy McCammack, candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino and City Councilwoman.

Today’s online interview is with Wendy McCammack, the City Council current representative for San Bernardino’s 7th Ward and one of eleven candidates for Mayor.

Rememberthe San Bernardino Police Officers Association is hosting a Mayoral Candidates Forum the evening of Saturday, September 14th.  If you are interested in attending, please reserve your seats by clicking this link.

Councilwoman McCammack, thank you for your time today.

You were first elected to to the San Bernardino City Council in 2000, then re-elected in, 2003, 2007 and 2011. During that time what were some of your major concerns about how the City was managing its finances?

I have always thought of the decisions I have made, albeit as only one vote on the City Council, as a business owner who should make decisions that will provide long term financial stability.

I have consistently asked my colleagues to stick to a fiscally conservative plan, making decisions that will be smart in the long run.

Decisions that I felt were not smart included the $192,000,000 replacement bus line, hundreds of millions wasted on an airport to no where, $10,000,000 spent to help a for-profit theater business get in business and stay in business, wasted money on Operation Phoenix, and more wasteful spending coddling parolees, homeless and panhandlers. All of these things, yet only a partial list, were bad decisions and I find them insulting to the taxpayers.

What steps did you attempt to take to correct these problems that would eventually lead to the City of San Bernardino declaring bankruptcy?

Again, as one vote who seemed to be in the minority of the 7 council votes, I have consistently asked the Mayor and City Manager (of the day) to remove non-essentials from the budget. I did not have the majority of support on the council for such requests that were repeated year after year.

I consistently asked for reports that would have shown that restricted funds were in the red year after year, but those requests went unanswered or I was told “we cannot create the report for which you are asking.”

Even when the City Manager warned of large deficits in a five year projection, the Mayor continued to put a “balanced” budget before the Council members. Those two actions contradict each other, as I remarked year after year.

Last summer when the City suddenly declared bankrupty, how did you vote on this action and why?

An Interview with Mayoral Candidate Karmel Roe

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy is pleased to bring you the 4th in our interview series with the candidates running for Mayor of San Bernardino this November.

Karmel Roe

Karmel Roe, candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino.

Mayoral candidate Karmel Roe.  Ms. Roe shared with us her thoughts on the condition of San Bernardino, drawing specific attention to the rampant homelessness throughout our city.

DON’T FORGET! The San Bernardino Police Officers Association is hosting a mayoral candidates forum at Cal State San Bernardino on September 14th at 6pm.  The public is invited to attend as well as submit questions to the candidates through this website.

And now our interview with mayoral candidate Karmel Roe.

What do you believe the top priority of the City of San Bernardino should be?

THE TOP PRIORITY of the City of San Bernardino should be its BURGEONING HOMELESS POPULATION! This is the root of our growing financial insolvency at city hall and in the business community.

If you are elected mayor, the City of San Bernardino will exit bankruptcy during your term in office. What policies need to be changed or implemented to ensure that a financial crisis like this does not happen to our City again?

An Interview with Mayoral Candidate Rick Avila

Our interview series with the candidates for Mayor of San Bernardino continues here with this online Question and Answer session with Rick Avila.

rick 007

Mr. Avila took the time to discuss with us his views on the city’s financial problems, bringing businesses and jobs to San Bernardino, and making our community safer.

REMEMBER: If you have a question for Rick Avila and the other candidates for Mayor, please submit it for consideration as a question for the Mayoral Candidate Forum on September 14th.

Now, here’s our exclusive interview with Rick Avila:

Mr. Avila thank you for your time today.

What do you believe the top priorities of the City of San Bernardino should be?

Because of San Bernardino’s unique demographics, sprawling size and low income Safety is the primary concern.  Without an adequate number of first responders and their supporting staff our City cannot maintain it residents and businesses.

If you are elected mayor, the City of San Bernardino will exit bankruptcy during your term in office. What policies need to be changed or implemented to ensure that a financial crisis like this does not happen to our City again?

An Interview With Mayoral Candidate Draymond Crawford

As part of our interview series with the candidates for Mayor of San Bernardino, San Bernardino City Bankruptcy recently conducted an online interview with mayoral candidate Draymond Crawford.

Draymond Crawford is a candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino this November.

Draymond Crawford is a candidate for Mayor of San Bernardino this November.

Mr. Crawford graciously discussed San Bernardino’s financial struggles, its crime problems, and his plans to revitalize our city’s struggling economy.

If you have a question for Draymond Crawford and the other candidates for Mayor, please submit it for consideration as a question for the Mayoral Candidate Forum on September 14th.

Here us our exclusive interview with Draymond Crawford:

Mr. Crawford thank you for your time today.

What do you believe the top priorities of the City of San Bernardino should be?

The top priorities of the City should reflect the expectations of its citizens.  In many cases those expectations are just the basic services each and every city should provide:

A.      A safe community                B.      Clean Streets                    C.      Good Schools

Public Safety

Public Safety is the  master link within the chain of services  to the public and potential economic growth  for our city.   The real and perceived reality of our public safety is the strongest force that affect the daily lives of all citizens and businesses alike.

I can speak from experience having worked for a city that went through a down turn in economic growth and officers that fled for greener pastures.  It took a change in leadership (city hall)  and a commitment from the public as a whole to place public safety as a priority.