Trying times in San Bernardino

A view of San Bernardino City Hall. With three city officials facing a recall vote, some observers say the frustration in the embattled city could bring sweeping change. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times / July 11, 2012)

By Rick Rojas
September 8, 2013, 5:24 p.m.

For Scott Beard, San Bernardino’s decision to file for bankruptcy was just the last in a long list of grievances against the city where he has lived for 15 years.

He saw crime worsen and more panhandlers on street corners. He saw an exodus of residents and businesses. He saw the city’s core hollowing and its pride evaporating.

San Bernardino, he said, has been in “substantial decline and spiraling downward.”

The common denominator in all of this, he said, was the city’s leadership.

“No one has taken responsibility for it, even to this day,” he said of the bankruptcy, which was filed in 2012 and allowed to proceed after a judge’s ruling last month. “These guys were never going to get together as a team.”

That frustration prompted a recall effort against the mayor, city attorney and the seven members of the City Council. Beard’s organization, San Bernardino Residents for Responsible Government, served recall notices to all of them.

After the group collected signatures and argued in court, three elected officials — two council members and City Atty. James Penman — will face a recall vote.

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