This is my most boring title, and not one of my favorite topics. I’m sure it causes many people frustration, anger and sleepless nights worrying about their future. Not stuff I usually write about.
A special election is a waste of money when the city has filed for bankruptcy. A local attorney has withdrawn his recent attempt to recall councilman Chas Kelley. Whew. That would cost taxpayers about $100,000. The new plan is to recall FOUR council members and repeal the city charter. There have been past failed attempts at the change the charter – not quite to this extent. Filing these items together saves hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who doesn’t want to save money?
San Bernardino has recently filed muncipal bankruptcy with a shortfall of $46 million. It must be their fault, and that’s why they are being recalled. Shocking actions such as this, are what is typically is behind a recall. It’s too expensive and takes a considerable amount of time and (wo)man hours to complete. It is not alleged they are at fault, nor did they steal money, promote or have failed programs, get convicted of a crime, allow companies to pollute our water, get caught in a lie, or flip-flop on an issue, etc. Councilmen Jenkins and Valdivia are newly elected, and were not around to vote on any issues that brought the city to bankruptcy (pension argument aside). I remember councilwoman McCammack voting ‘no’ with past budgets, and passing out rubber stamps at the meeting. But, she was in the minority and the proposed budgets passed by the council majority at the time. But, they also did the best they could, with the inaccurate budget information they were provided (accounting errors in the last 13/16).
These four people voted down a proposal to change the city charter. I’m with Councilman Jenkins. It’s bad timing – no matter your perception of it’s value.
Why is ‘Save Our San Bernardino’ only preparing to file four petitions: a petition to hold a special election to vote on repealing the city’s charter and recall petitions against Kelley, Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia and Wendy McCammack. Why stop at recalling 4 council members? Why not include all 7 – or even the Mayor? Shouldn’t everybody’s public ‘service position’ be on the line?
I would rather be patient and wait until the next voting cycle. San Bernardino doesn’t have the money. They have cut back everywhere, and a hundred grand is a couple of people’s salaries. In a city littered with graffiti, one of the most violent in the nation, full of potholes, broken streetlights, broken sprinklers, euthanizes 80% of shelter animals and more – I’d prefer more employees (please re-read 2nd paragraph & sleepless nights). The city has cut back in many areas and they need to make more cuts. We need to focus on the immediate problem: Bankruptcy!! If you don’t have/need to focus on that, then focus on something positive. Volunteer within the city. I’d rather $100,000 is donated to San Bernardino non-profits and actually help people, before spending it on special elections. Vote out/vote in whoever you want during the regular election cycle.
San Bernardino has been extremely polarized for decades, and these type of actions will only further polarize and hurt a failing city. We should be solely concerned with finding viable financial solutions. The city is in fiscal crisis. The community and leaders should come together, not be divisive.