San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/02/2013 04:18:21 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — A group trying to recall the city’s top nine elected officials drew about 50 people for a news conference Thursday explaining why they think the city needs all new leaders.

The condition of the city needs to be fixed, said Scott Beard, lead organizer for a group called San Bernardino Residents for Responsible Government that was formed to gather the signatures necessary to get a recall vote on Mayor Pat Morris, City Attorney James F. Penman and the seven City Council members onto November’s ballot.

“The raw facts of our city speak for themselves,” Beard said, pointing to the city’s unemployment, insolvency and a financial website’s determination that San Bernardino was the nation’s “worst run” city. “We need new leadership, and this is the best way to get it. ”

Beard, a San Bernardino resident who owns a real-estate development company in Rialto, presented reasons for the attempted recall along with former Arrowhead Credit Union CEO Larry Sharp, Alex Avila of the San Bernardino nonprofit 4E and Christian Flores, a student at Cal State San Bernardino.

“The leaders of this community have divided us and failed us,” Flores said. “We are nothing to them. I’m in favor of this recall because our city is dying. ”

Not everyone at the news conference was supportive, though.

As it began, Penman, one of the recall’s targets, stood at the front of the crowd.

He said afterward that the recall attempt undermined negotiations with the city’s creditors – a core part of the bankruptcy process – because creditors’ lawyers want to know that the leaders they’re working with will be in office to enforce their promises.

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