San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris gave his final State of the City speech this week to a half empty room at the Sturgis Center.
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.
That’s not real leadership. That’s the same kind of pass the buck politics that got San Bernardino into the position it’s in today.
A real leader would have used the speech as an opportunity to publicly acknowledge that his policies had failed these last eight years.
If Pat Morris were a real leader he would have confessed that he did not fulfill the promises of his 2005 campaign. He would have admitted that rather than saving San Bernardino, his failed leadership had ruined the City.
If Pat Morris were a real leader he would have admitted that his plans to reduce crime have failed. According to the FBI the number of murders has gone up 51%, robberies are up 27%, and assaults are up 24% since 2010.
If Pat Morris were a real leader he would have admitted that Measure Z money has not been used to make San Bernardino’s residents safer. In fact no one is sure where the money that the public earmarked for law enforcement is really going since the Measure Z Citizens Oversight Committee has not made a report to the City Council since 2009.
If Pat Morris were a real leader he would have admitted that the reckless plan earlier this year to disband the San Bernardino Police Department has made the City much less safe. The Police Department has lost 100 officers. With a police force weakened by more than 30% its no wonder that drug dealers, panhandlers, pimps and prostitutes have taken over so many of San Bernardino’s streets and parks.
If Pat Morris were a real leader he would admitted that he has failed to attract the job-creating businesses to San Bernardino that residents needs. That’s why over 11,000 residents are out of work and the City’s unemployment rate is 84% higher than the national unemployment rate.
If Pat Morris were a real leader he would have admitted he made a huge mistake in knowingly hiring a convicted felon to run the San Bernardino International Airport. Now instead of having an airport that is a thriving economic engine for the City, more than a million dollars is gone and a major federal corruption investigation is ongoing.
If Pat Morris were a real leader he would have admitted that the City is far worse off today than when he was first sworn into office. Because of his failed leadership over 31% of residents live below the federal poverty line.
If Pat Morris was a true leader he would have included these items in his State of the City speech.
But that speech didn’t happen.
And no one should have expected that speech because Pat Morris has never been a true leader. His entire career he’s been nothing more than an elitist who considers himself smarter than most other people and who blames those who disagree with him for his own failures.
It’s no wonder why every candidate who is running for Mayor (except Carey Davis who also refused to be interviewed by this website when we were conducting candidate interviews) said they would refuse the endorsement of Pat Morris should he offer it.
If you want to know the State of the City of San Bernardino, 9 out of 10 mayoral candidates declining the current mayor’s endorsement says more than any speech Pat Morris gave to a half empty room at Sturgis Center.