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.
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.
Remember – the 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?