San Bernardino Seal

Saturday, September 26, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

One would think exiting San Bernardino, California’s record-long municipal bankruptcy proceedings would be the priority for the beleaguered city’s elected officials.

It’s not even close.

In addition to trying to dupe property owners into an end-run related to parcel tax to generate more revenue to the city, now comes another flap over a sweetheart contract.

On September 21 (Agenda item #7A) , the city council on a 4-3 vote, approved a “professional services” contract for James P. Morris, son and former chief of staff to former Mayor Pat Morris.

It seems that, over the past fifteen months, Morris, a licensed attorney, has been paid $248,517 to assist the executive director of the city’s redevelopment agency successor agency. What that assistance has been, is unknown. Maybe Morris bought a Rosetta Stone kit on managing RDA successor agencies, or something like that.

Nevertheless, Morris’s new contract, which is set to begin October 1 and pay him $155,000 for 34-hours of work per week, will be vetoed by Mayor Carey Davis.

What has caused the latest blowup is unknown. But it’s more interesting theater in a city that still can’t get out of its own way.