By IE Business Daily
November 29, 2014

The City of San Bernardino just can’t seem to get a break. Even as Ferguson, Missouri was burning this week absorbing the nation’s attention, San Bernardino’s City leadership just couldn’t resist muckraking and developing its own negative press for the sole purpose of deflecting public attention.

For the record, city leaders, in particular Mayor Carey Davis, have had a very rough November. Measure Q, the Charter Amendment that would have eliminated public safety salary formulas and was heavily backed by Mayor Davis and his supporters, failed on election day.

The Yes on Q campaign started late, was underfunded, and appeared to be a complete afterthought of the Mayor’s leadership team. Apparently, the proponents thought that blaming the city’s bankruptcy on Police Officers and Firefighters was such a winning argument that they didn’t have to make a real one.

The Mayor should have understood early on that any charter amendment that passes the city council on a 4-3 split vote would have problems with voters. That the measure was presented to voters less than a year after one of the most divisive election cycles in San Bernardino history should have raised red flags with the Mayor and his advisors as well. Only hubris can explain it.

Not that the Yes on Q argument blaming public safety salaries was ever truthful anyway. The bankruptcy judge scolded the city for putting all its eggs in one basket with Measure Q. As reported in the Sun Newspaper, Judge Jury stated the following:

“It was never going to be enough,” she said. “Good heavens, the attorney’s fees in this case were probably several years of what you were going to get by adjusting the safety salaries.”

In another black eye for San Bernardino, Judge Jury then proceeded to give the city a 6 month hard deadline to come up with a real plan to exit bankruptcy, which seems to be the last thing city leaders have been focused on. The city has been in bankruptcy proceedings for 28 months already without producing a plan and with the additional 6 months will have been longer than any municipality in history. Detroit, which had far deeper problems was done with its bankruptcy plan in 7 months.

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