Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/12/2012 09:03:51 PM PDT
Updated: 10/12/2012 09:23:03 PM PDT

UPLAND – Representatives of the city’s police officer and firefighter employee groups blame city leaders for the current financial crisis, saying they have failed to properly manage the city’s budget.

City Manager Stephen Dunn and Mayor Ray Musser had said Thursday that the city will need to cut spending aggressively in order to avoid a state of fiscal emergency and potentially filing for bankruptcy.

Cuts could include outsourcing police and fire services as well as reducing compensation or benefits for city employees.

Spokesmen for the city’s police and fire unions said public safety has already been cut too much and claimed city leaders are misspending public money.

“The city’s problems are based on financial errors,” said Marc Simpson, president of the Upland Police Officers Association.

Michael Carney, president of the Upland Fire Fighters Association, said running the city like a business is not working.

“It’s sad that the leaders of our city aren’t holding each other accountable in regard to the financial situation,” he said. “As an association or as individuals, when we spend our money we know where it’s going and what to prepare for.”

A memo written by Dunn and obtained by the Daily Bulletin shows that the city’s general fund reserve was $1.4 million at the end of the fiscal year that ended June 30 – $2.7 million below what the city had projected.

Simpson said in a statement that the police union is astonished at the city’s lack of financial accountability.

“It’s time for the council to make public safety a priority,” he said. “Cuts are no longer acceptable and will place the citizens and (the city’s) officers in undue peril.”

To read entire story, click here.