San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 12/16/14, 8:58 PM PST | Updated: 28 secs ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> The city has a “work plan” to prepare its bankruptcy exit plan, and it’s been reviewed by the entire City Council — not just the small team that previously was allowed to know details of the confidential mediation where much of the city’s bankruptcy plan has been ironed out.

City Attorney Gary Saenz, who revealed those two changes in a statement Monday, said the council will now meet regularly with the bankruptcy team.

“That order (by mediation Judge Gregg Zive) has now been revised so that Council will now be part of those negotiations and will significantly become a part of bankruptcy team discussions,” Saenz said. “However, as mediation with creditors continues, your council representatives will be subject to the confidentiality order and will not be at liberty to discuss particulars.”

Previously, the majority of the council was unable to know firsthand what the city had to work with. That hamstrung those who were asked to trust the bankruptcy team, said Councilman Henry Nickel, one of those who had been on the outside.

“You’re making decisions with very, very incomplete information,” Nickel said Tuesday. “That, I think, really inhibits the ability to make fully considered decisions.”

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury, who’s overseeing the city’s case, has expressed increasing frustration with mediation and suggested that she will begin to loosen its confidentiality requirements. Although she has spoken with Zive, she too has been outside the gag order.

In November, Jury gave the city a deadline of May 30 to come up with a complete bankruptcy exit plan, known as a plan of adjustment.

To read entire story, click here.