Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/21/2012 06:22:17 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – With only days left until a City Council meeting some are treating as a deadline to pass a budget for the next 18 months that must be presented to bankruptcy court, council members have been meeting with administrators to fine-tune the cuts, but they expect passage Monday.

Changes to the plan – which proposes about $26million in cuts and nearly $35million in deferred payments – will improve it without compromising the major points, said Councilwoman Wendy McCammack.

“More than changes, I think there’s been some clarifications that needed to be put into writing,” she said, “but also there have been some suggestions made by other council members that I think needed to be incorporated into this document.”

McCammack met with Interim City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller and others on Wednesday.

“I think there will be some minor adjustments – I mean minor,” she said.

The pendency plan, as it’s known, will serve as the city’s budget during its bankruptcy – or fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14 – and ideas from it will be used in a filing due Nov. 30 with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Riverside.

Judge Meredith Jury said at the city’s last court hearing that she expected the plan “soon” and the city’s bankruptcy attorney should have a very good idea what it contains to use in the city’s filing, which will argue for narrower grounds for creditors to object that the city doesn’t qualify for Chapter 9 protection and that creditors should recover all the money the city owes it.

That would be catastrophic for the city, officials say.

Mayor Pat Morris has criticized what he says is the council’s tendency to tinker excessively with plans presented by city administrators, delaying and sometimes blocking changes he thinks are necessary to regain solvency in a city that filed for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 1.

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