San Bernardino Seal

Monday, March 25, 2013 – 09:00 a.m.

Bankrupt San Bernardino, California is in need of a serious makeover.

Poor demographics, a high crime rate, financial mismanagement, greed, combined with a dysfunctional city government has crushed the city of more than 200,000-plus residents.

Demographics like high underemployment, welfare, food stamp, and foreclosure rates, now one can add poor roads and street lighting, appear to have become a norm that can’t be shaken.

The city has taken great pride in it’s charter form of government over the years. You know, the self-determination mantra, blah..blah..blah!

Most California cities operate as general law municipalities. And those cities seldom suffer the kind of missteps as San Bernardino.

For the city to have a decent shot at pulling itself off a path to dissolution it’s charter must go.

The ward represented city council, and strong-mayor form of government, has been a key source of infighting for decades and has contributed to the city’s woes. The constant bickering and finger-pointing has paralyzed any hope of real progress. Mayor Patrick Morris and city council members ignore this fact.

Actually, Morris, who’s not running for reelection, appears to be setting himself up to do what every other mayor over the past couple decades has done. That being get out of Dodge as fast as possible.

The only-past mayor that remains vested in the city is Evelyn Wilcox.

A city council elected at large, combined with a weak-mayor, strong city manager form of government, is the only way to solve many of the city’s woes. It’s this form of government that can prevent unscrupulous businesses from using politics to suck city finances dry, as is the current situation.

A recent story by John Weeks, published in The Sun newspaper, mentioned the widening project for the I-215 corridor as a positive enhancement that will essentially improve the city’s attractiveness.

While the very-lavish, and costly, freeway expansion may approve the city’s appearance, it will also have a more profound impact. That being commuter traffic can move through the city’s downtown at a faster rate.

After all, why stop in Gotham City?

San Bernardino’s high-crime, particularly homicide, rate is well-known to most people. If you didn’t live in San Bernardino would you want to drive off the freeway?

Maybe it’s time to place a spotlight on top of city hall and send up the famous “Bat” signal.