Thursday, July 12, 2012 – 10:00 a.m
It’s only been two days, since they voted to take the city into chapter 9 bankruptcy, and some members of the San Bernardino City Council are already jockeying to replace Mayor Patrick Morris.
You can see it in the comments made at the council dais, and in newspapers.
The attacks against the mayor, past city managers, colleagues, the toilet paper vendor.
Everyone can expect it in the coming days.
It’s the bloodsport culture of San Bernardino politics. A culture that has been around for decades.
A culture that distracted city leaders, while the municipality went into the tank.
Finances be damned.
The city mayors, past and present, are usually the fault line.
Political battles within the city council are commonplace, and have usually resulted in good ideas being derailed, along with the departures of several former executives and chiefs of police.
It’s true! Anything to make the other side look bad is always the goal, with residents and businesses being the ones to suffer.
San Bernardino politicians know of nothing else than attacking one another and their perceived allies. The battle lines almost always line up on four vote coalitions within the seven member common council.
The city charter even grants the mayor the power to veto council actions passed with four votes. But it’s rarely used.
City residents have routinely been witness to outright front and center battles between Morris and City Attorney James Penman.
This time will be no different.
Penman has already, in grandstanding form, made public allegations of fraud by past city managers and administrators.
Even though Interim City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller has only called the past two years of spending plans into question.
It’ll be tough to prove fraud, but maybe not incompetence.
Why? Spending plans are just that. And plans don’t always go as perceived.
But in a dysfunctional city like San Bernardino, it should be expected.
Nevertheless, the blame has to be directed elsewhere in order to try and deflect any responsibility from certain members of the city council.
That blame game has already started. But it’s not going to work.
Not this time.
If city council members believe they can escape the wrath of voters on this debacle, they can think again.
And it’s questionable as to whether or not council members understand just how serious their bankruptcy declaration actually is.
One thing will be certain. There’s going to be a broad paintbrush used by city residents at the ballot box in coming elections.
Regardless, the city government needs to come together to solve the mountain of problems facing the community.
But, based upon the past, it’s likely a federal judge and U.S. Trustee will have to do it for them.