By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/27/15 – 8:05 PM PDT |
SAN BERNARDINO >> Under the shadow of bankruptcy, good things are happening in San Bernardino, Mayor Carey Davis said at an hourlong talk Tuesday evening.
They don’t always get noticed, though, in light of the city’s bankruptcy filing in 2012. Last year, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury imposed a May 30 deadline for a bankruptcy exit plan.
And, as Davis acknowledged in response to several residents’ questions, the city still faces difficulties and will have to make further “haircuts” in bankruptcy.
Speaking to about 30 residents at Jovi’s Diner for his second “Evening with the Mayor” — a discussion intended to provide updates and get input — Davis ran through developments on a number of different fronts.
He organized the bullet points around the “seven strategies” identified over the course of five strategic planning meetings earlier this year, which he said was an example of the impact community input has.
“As a result of that process, public safety is a top priority of the recovery plan,” Davis said, listing new developments — the hiring of more police, a park ranger program, and police body cameras and new vehicles that were funded by federal grants — and praising the police department.
“Our police are very engaged in trying to eradicate some of the problems in our community, but they’re overwhelmed at times with the heavy call volume,” he said.
On the other peg of public safety — fire and emergency medical services — Davis said the city continued to work toward outsourcing the San Bernardino City Fire Department to the county fire department.
“We’re working through some hoops and hurdles, but we hope to have that done probably by July of next year,” he said.
The city’s fire union has challenged the outsourcing process, and Jury agreed with union attorneys that it was done without required negotiation, but the city and Local Agency Formation Commission for San Bernardino County continue to move forward with a process the city says will improve service and save money but also will include a tax of $143 per parcel.
Among the other areas where Davis pointed to progress:
• The $65 million San Manuel Gateway College on South G Street, a project of Loma Linda University Health with an expected 2016 completion date, will create career paths for local students while increasing the number of patient visits from 30,000 to 200,000 per year.
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