San Bernardino Seal

Sunday, March 22, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.

Just as bankrupt San Bernardino, California is starting to get its act together, comes another possible step backwards.

San Bernardino has balanced its shoestring budget. It’s even managed to cobble together some sincere cooperation on the city council, even with a somewhat uncooperative and inexperienced mayor.

It’s an accomplishment for the beleaguered city.

But now the city’s auditor, Macias, Gini and O’Connell, LLP, has disclosed that it may not have all work completed in time for submission of the Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Exit Plan, now due on May 30.

Failure of city managers to provide required information is being given as the reason for the delay. The recently fired finance director is being handed the blame.

When U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Meredith Jury gave the explicit deadline, she told the city to meet the hard date or face dismissal of the bankruptcy petition.

A move the city may now actually risk.

Creditors will be able to go after city assets should the bankruptcy case evaporate. Not that there’s many city assets that aren’t already encumbered.

San Bernardino leaders should do everything possible to meet the deadline. But at this point there would seem to be a lack of urgency to see the process through.

A catastrophic dismissal of the bankruptcy case could affect the city’s status as a continuing entity going forward.