Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/28/2012 07:14:41 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The heads of all city departments will make public presentations at tonight’s City Council meeting about how they plan to cut 30 percent of their budgets, a change from an earlier agenda that included an item to approve the plans but not details about them.

The shift follows public outcry about the city’s decision not to release the proposed budget before the meeting and a statement from Acting Assistant City Manager Gwendolyn Waters suggesting the recommendations wouldn’t be released until after a decision was made.

The proposed budget would govern the city for two to three months as it works through the beginning of the bankruptcy process. The city filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 1.

California law allows documents related to litigation – such as bankruptcy – to be kept confidential, but it requires a city budget to be placed on the agenda and be open for public discussion before a vote, City Attorney James F. Penman said.

He reiterated that position in a confidential memo sent to the council and other officials Tuesday.

“Our office did send out a memo this afternoon expressing our concerns about the plans,” he said. “While I can’t comment on a confidential memo, there will now be presentations during the meeting, which is what I’ve said should happen all along.”

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