Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/04/2012 06:13:52 PM PDT
SAN BERNARDINO – A proposal to cut more than 100 city positions sparked heated discussion on several fronts at the second City Council meeting at which it was considered, but late Tuesday night, the meeting had gone on for six hours without any sign of a vote.
If passed in its entirety, the cuts, first distributed to the public Aug. 29, would take care of $22.4 million of the city’s $45.8 million deficit.
But several council members said they wouldn’t be willing to vote for the plan without significant changes.
Councilman Chas Kelley was the first to put out an alternate plan, suggesting a set of cuts to the Fire Department that included deeper cuts to management but not the rolling closures of the least-used fire stations that Acting Chief Paul Drasil recommended.
“I won’t accept a browned-out fire station in my ward,” he said. “Will you?”
Councilwoman Wendy McCammack tweaked that plan to reduce cuts because of expected revenue from leasing services including trash – a point of ongoing contention between Mayor Pat Morris and some council members – rather than selling city assets, and tried to move forward with that.
But Morris refused to allow a vote until after all department heads presented, setting off one of many conflicts over procedure and past practice that included loud crosstalk and booing from the audience.
Much of the booing was directed at City Attorney James F. Penman, who accused Morris of packing City Hall with supporters.
To read entire story, click here.