Pat Morris

San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris discusses his State of the City speech during an interview in his office Monday. (Lafonzo Carter — staff photographer)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/07/13, 6:08 PM PDT | Updated: 5 hrs ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> A year after a state of the city address comparing this community to Charles Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities,” Mayor Pat Morris reaches for a darker tale as he prepares a speech that is less the celebration typical of such events than it is a desperate call to arms.

This will be the final state of the city given by Morris, whose last such speech came in March 2012, three months before the City Council voted to file for bankruptcy.

Long before that, the problems that led San Bernardino to bankruptcy — what he referred to in 2012 as “the ash can of history — think Vallejo and Stockton” — were apparent, but they weren’t solved then or now, Morris said in an interview Monday.

Advisers and Morris himself repeatedly said pensions needed to be reduced, services needed to be contracted out, the budget needed to somehow be reduced, he said, but other officials pushed for other actions or opposed what he proposed.

He’s reminded of the last scene of “Waiting for Godot,” in which characters remain aimless even after being told to move.

“The depressing stage direction,” he said, “is ‘nobody goes.’”

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