Sunday, July 8, 2012 – 12:45 p.m.

First it was Vallejo. Then Stockton.

Now Mammoth Lakes is in line.

Will San Bernardino, a city with a population of 210,000, be the fourth California municipality to file bankruptcy?

The answer is likely ‘yes’.

In a recent post we said the city of San Bernardino needed to come clean with its residents on just how bad its financial condition is.

Well it looks like city leaders may be listening.

Based on a story, published in Sunday’s edition of The Sun newspaper, it would seem city administrators are dishing out the bad news to their dysfunctional city council and mayor.

Since the city has lost its ability to pilfer from its now defunct redevelopment agency its finances have taken a deepening turn for the worse.

Privatizing the city trash collection franchise and contracting out police services likely won’t save the city from seeking protection under chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code at this point.

Why?

Idiotic decision-making combined with growing pension costs have drained city coffers.

San Bernardino is saddled with a plethora of long-term spending commitments and, more importantly, debt.

City leaders, for years, have been repeatedly warned about their boondoggle spending.

They didn’t listen.

Even with the bad news, the city council and mayor will likely enter its customary bickering blame game along with a stretch of denial before any decisions have to be made.

The city council and Mayor Pat Morris, with the exception of newly-elected council members John Valdivia and Robert Jenkins, share a high-level of responsibility.

Recently departed Former City Manager Charles McNeely looks incompetent at this point.

Nevertheless, the city is probably too far gone to salvage the current situation.