San Bernardino Deserves Better Than Fred Shorett

City Councilman Fred Shorett has failed the people of San Bernardino and they deserve better.

Shorett Head in the Sand

Fred Shorett failed to stop the city’s wasteful spending that drove the San Bernardino into bankruptcy.

Fred Shorett ignored the public safety needs of the community, now violent crime like murder is up 51% in San Bernardino.

Fred Shorett also failed to create an economic recovery program to bring jobs here.  Now 11,000 residents are out of work with 31% of San Bernardino living in poverty.

Shorett Head in Sand Back

San Bernardino residents deserve better leadership and service than what they’ve been getting from Fred Shorett.

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association encourages the voters in City Council Ward 4 to fire Fred Shorett and elect Anthony Jones this November 5th.

The Pension Hypocrisy of Pat Morris

Mayor Pat Morris knows that as he prepares to leave office he will most likely go down in history as the worst mayor of San Bernardino.

This is not a subjective opinion as Morris and his supporters will claim. It’s a fact.

Don’t think so? Then please name one other Mayor of San Bernardino who had the City go bankrupt while they were in office.

Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about another fact Pat Morris doesn’t want to admit:  he is responsible for San Bernardino’s bankruptcy no matter how you cut it.

If you believe that out of control spending is the culprit, then Pat Morris as mayor failed to veto those budgets and spending items that were behind the red ink.

If you believe pension benefits provided to San Bernardino’s Police Officers and Fire Fighters are to blame for the city’s insolvency, Pat Morris is still to blame.

Before Pat Morris was elected Mayor, the 3% at 50 retirement benefit didn’t exist in San Bernardino. Pat Morris introduced it.

Pat Morris proposed increasing retirement benefits to San Bernardino’s public safety professionals. It was the brain child of the mayor himself.

He even got the entire City Council to go along with him, including Rikke Van Johnson who also likes to bash public safety pensions as the City’s main problem.

And here’s the documents that prove it:

Public safety employees didn't have the 3% at 50 retirement benefit until Pat Morris offered it in 2006 (click to enlarge)

San Bernardino 3 at 50 Vote Morris’s recent publicity tour calling for a constitutional amendment to gut retiree pension and healthcare benefits is nothing but a sham to paper over his horrendous record as Mayor of San Bernardino.

He does not have the money or the support statewide to pass such an initiative, even if he really wanted to.

And make no mistake, Pat Morris doesn’t really want to curb public employee pensions. After all he’s got a very nice pension himself.

According to CalPERS, Pat Morris makes an annual pension of $117, 199.52.

That’s a monthly stipend of $9,825.96.

Not bad for a failed judge who became a failed mayor of a city where over 31% of the people he was elected to represent live below the federal poverty line.

Much at Stake in San Bernardino City Elections

An editorial by Steve Desrochers, chairman of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association Political Action Committee.

When you think of all that is at stake in this election, does it keep you up at night? It should, but for most people, the answer is no.

English: San Bernardino, Ca

Future of San Bernardino hinges on the outcome of this election (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That is primarily because, I think the voters are numb.

We have been hit so hard and so frequently with bad news about the City, the behavior of the leadership and the constant negative force of state programs (elimination of the Economic Development Agencies and AB 109, for example), that many just turn away when the topic turns to San Bernardino.

Others don’t believe that their single vote can account for the vast amount of change needed to make a difference.

When you consider that in 2005, about 25,848 cast a vote in the Mayoral election. In 2009 mayor’s race, as the recession was just winding up, that number dropped to around 14,930.

I’m thinking that we should see resurgence in the number of voters this year, but will that materialize?

Every voter should make every attempt to get to the polls this November. It is critically important.

We are a bankrupt community, with a huge leadership deficit.

Mayor Morris is walking away from the mess he engineered and probably won’t lose any sleep over it.

Narcissistically, he has blamed every other possible group (the council, the unions, the City Attorney, the Charter, etc.) for his own legacy and will enjoy his golden years, likely in some other community. Any other community.

I say that’s fine. Let him go. Let the past go and let’s start the recovery.

Technically, we have 10 candidates who wish to replace Mayor Morris. I believe that field is actually much smaller.

If you eliminate those with no fresh ideas, no plan for the future and no (apparent) talent whatsoever, the field thins.

If Pat Morris Were A Real Leader…

San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris gave his final State of the City speech this week to a half empty room at the Sturgis Center.

Mayor Pat Morris continues to deny his role in the collapse of San Bernardino.

Mayor Pat Morris continues to deny his role in the collapse of San Bernardino.

Most mayors use such an address to pat themselves on their backs for their accomplishments or to promote their agenda for the coming year.

That didn’t happen as financially ruining a city and driving it into bankruptcy is far from an accomplishment. And Pat Morris doesn’t have an agenda for the next year as he’s thankfully decided not to seek a third term in office.

So one would think that within only a few weeks left in office and the election for his successor in less than a month that Mayor Morris would skip giving a State of the City speech this year.

But Pat Morris has always enjoyed telling people how great he is. So how could he resist giving the speech even if he had nothing to talk about?

So instead of giving an honest and frank speech to honestly assess his failures and shortcomings, Morris used a good portion of his long-winded 90-minute speech to attack San Bernardino’s firefighters and police officers.

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.

Pensions Did Not Cause San Bernardino Bankruptcy

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.

Police & Fire Could Be Harmed By Costly Recalls

The group that in May served notice of intent to recall nine city officials still intends to turn in petitions from residents seeking the recall of all nine, despite announcing last week that signature-gatherers would begin focusing their energy on officials who aren’t already on November’s ballot.

So reports Ryan Hagen in today’s San Bernardino County Sun.

With the news of this flip-flop it’s important to reiterate the true costs of this recall effort on our financially troubled city.

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.

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 be saddled with 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.

Pat Morris’ San Bernardino: The Shame of the Inland Empire

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.

Fate of San Bernardino’s Bankruptcy Soon To Be Decided

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.

San Bernardino Police Officers Association Opposes the Recall of All City Elected Officials

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.