San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
POSTED: 05/18/15 – 8:55 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A full-court press by the city’s administrators, consultants and allies from the community convinced six of the seven council members Monday that it was vital to pass the Plan of Adjustment, pushing the city into the next stage of its nearly three-year bankruptcy.

The vote, with Councilman John Valdivia opposing, comes in advance of a May 30 court-imposed deadline that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury said she would extend only if “the earth moved” under the city.

But it isn’t the final word on the cutbacks and other changes included in the Plan of Adjustment — creditors still will be able to object to its provisions, and the city will continue negotiating to try to avoid that expensive litigation, City Attorney Gary Saenz said Monday. He and other city officials say they hope U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury will confirm the plan in about a year.

With City Hall’s council chambers nearly full of residents and others pushing both for and against the plan’s passage, there was general agreement that it was a historic day.

“I, no different from the people in this room, value this moment as part of what will become your legacy in great history,” said county Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who represents much of the city of San Bernardino. “… Do not think of yourselves today. Think of 25 or 30 years in the future and let it be said that on May 18, 2015, the leadership of San Bernardino was strong, and honest, and ready to introduce the future.”

The opposing side — which argued, particularly, that outsourcing fire could be disastrous and that outsourcing refuse services was unfair and unhelpful — was summed up by resident Scott Olson.

“Today is the day the City Council committed suicide for San Bernardino,” Olson said before the vote, which he predicted would be in favor of the Plan of Adjustment.


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