One year ago today – July 10, 2012 – the San Bernardino City Council authorized City Attorney Jim Penman to file bankruptcy.
Regardless of how one might feel about any individual members of the San Bernardino City Council, this was not an easy decision for anyone to make.
It was one that had to be made in order for the City to make its payroll and provide essential city services to San Bernardino’s residents and businesses.
It was one that had to be made for one simple and reason: the policies of Mayor Pat Morris had literally devastated the City of San Bernardino.
Mayor Pat Morris took San Bernardino in a new direction – straight into the ground
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.
When you find yourself in a hole, before you can get out you need to stop digging.
That’s how the old adage goes.
But once you stop digging do you buy the rope to climb out from the same person who sold you the shovel?
That was more or less the question before the San Bernardino City Council on June 17, 2013.
Ryan Hagen of The Sun reports:
The City Council voted Monday to expand its contract with the firm that audited the city in the years before it filed for bankruptcy and also audited San Bernardino International Airport, despite the firm drawing criticism for both those jobs.
Rogers, Anderson, Malody & Scott would audit the financial statements of the successor to the city’s Economic Development Agency for the year that ended in July 2012. The firm had already been approved to audit the city’s financial statements for that period.
Councilman John Valdivia was the only dissenting vote on the City Council.
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.
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.
An open letter to the people of San Bernardino from Steve Desrochers, chairman of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association Political Action Committee.
Dear San Bernardino residents:
These are tough times for our city.
Times such as these call for strong leadership and a truthful assessment of the situation we are facing.
Unfortunately, both of those qualities are found lacking in Mayor Pat Morris and his supporters on the City Council.
On behalf of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association, I wanted to take the time and set the record straight about how many things got to where they currently are in the City of San Bernardino.
If you were to listen to Mayor Pat Morris and his cronies, they would have you believe that the bankruptcy of the City of San Bernardino has nothing to do their mismanagement of the city government.
They want you to believe the reason they had to declare bankruptcy is because of the cost of public employee pensions – specifically those of the San Bernardino’s police officers and fire fighters.
That is blatantly untrue and they know it.
There’s good new on the horizon for the people of San Bernardino.
The tenure of Pat Morris as Mayor of San Bernardino is coming to an end.
The legacy of Mayor Pat Morris can be summed up in three words: Bankruptcy, Waste, and Corruption.
Sadly the man who promised the people so much when he was elected to office eight years ago is leaving the City of San Bernardino in a worse condition than when we was sworn in as mayor.
Instead of a record of success and accomplishments, the legacy of Mayor Pat Morris can be summed up in three words: Bankruptcy, Waste, and Corruption.
On Sunday, March 24, 2013, Scot Spencer, the man Pat Morris hired to develop the San Bernardino International Airport was arrested on corruption charges.
Scot Spencer’s booking photo
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos is accusing Scot Spencer of a scheme defrauding the San Bernardino International Airport Authority of over $1 million.
After Spencer’s arrest, Pat Morris told The Press-Enterprise, “We are the victims of this man’s conduct based on the allegations before us.”
That’s quite a different tune for Mayor Morris from two years ago.