The news that the Council voted 4-2-1 (Shorett and Kelley against, Valdivia abstaining) to authorize City Attorney James F. Penman to file for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy came as sad news, as a City with a history of bad news, received more bad news.


    1. The image of the City of San Bernardino.  It seems that outsiders only notice the City when really bad things happen (Norton closing, fires, murder rates). This one has it all: corruption, incompetence and crime.

    2.  Mayor Patrick J. Morris in particular, but all incumbent politicians in the City of San Bernardino.  Whether it is fair to blame all the incumbents, this happened on their watch.  If it has not already been said, the political side that was not in power until recently (if they are indeed in power with shifting factions) will say that they were given falsified information, or that City staff, either on their own or at the direction of the other side, withheld information. Will the voters agree?  At this moment, accurate information about the situation is not being effectively conveyed by the government nor the press.

    3. The people of the City of San Bernardino.  In the long term, this will impact the ability to borrow money, which will mean more money will be paid for interest instead of needed City services.

    4. The employees of the City of San Bernardino.  People who have not worked in government are likely to have the attitude that of Jack Kirkpatrick in Airplane: they ” bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let ’em crash.”  However, having been in their position (as an employee of the City of San Bernardino), I sympathize because no matter how well they do their job, they just lost a little security because of the actions of others.  That could be paycheck security, or benefits security or some kind of security.

    5. The creditors of the City of San Bernardino.  Historically, working for the government,government contract, or investing in municipal bonds was safe. In the post Vallejo, Stockton, Mammoth Lakes, and San Bernardino environment, that is no longer the case.  See Jack Kirkpatrick quote, above.


    1. The Nattering Nabobs of Negativism.  People love to kick San Bernardino.  Here are the people who like to throw rocks:

    a. Current residents of San Bernardino who believe that San Bernardino used to be better.

    b. People who used to live or work in San Bernardino, but would never deign to live in San Bernardino today.

    c. People in neighboring communities that like to look down their nose at San Bernardino.

    d. People in large metropolitan areas of Southern California that refer to the Inland Empire as “out there.”

    e. People in Northern California that like to term all of Southern California as “Los Angeles” and will see this as a failing of “Los Angeles.”

    f. People outside of California (and the minority party of California) will see this as a failing of California.

    To all of those people, congratulations, you win!




    Leave a Reply