Readers spread the blame in San Bernardino's bankruptcy bid
Readers on Twitter and other social media sites were shocked that the city of San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy protection this week, making it the third California city in less than a month to do so.
Officials said the financial situation became so dire that it could not cover payroll through the summer, The Times’ Phil Willon reported.
The city of 209,000 residents faces a $46-million deficit, with just $150,000 left in its bank accounts. The deficits remain even after the city negotiated $10 million in concessions from employees and slashed the workforce 20% over the last four years.
San Bernardino’s fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation's crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento's raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.
Readers on comment boards blamed Democrats, Gov. Jerry Brown and unions for the city’s plight, suggesting the state might be next in line.
“One word is conspicuously absent from this story: 'Democrat,'" reader Jim Treacher commented.
Pcrhkr agreed, adding that the rest of California's cities will be next. "It is high time to FIRE the Governor. Everyone else is required to balance a check book, or bank account. How can the Government go bankrupt and expect the people of the state not to follow? Keep wrecking business, and see how deep you can get in debt. The rest of the cities in CA are to follow."
For commenter SanDiego52, the issue comes down to voting for politicians who do their jobs well, regardless of party affiliation. "As long as the people of California continue to elect the same administrators the state will continue to suffer big time...why not take voting seriously & vote people OUT that aren't doing a good job no matter what party they are affiliated with!!!...if we don't then we deserve what we get!!!"
Do you think the state or other cities will follow Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernardino into bankruptcy? What's your opinion on city bankruptcy? Let us know by tweeting @LANow, The Times' Local Facebook and Google+ pages or in the comments section below.
--Samantha Schaefer and Phil Willon
Photo: Mayor Patrick J. Morris outside of San Bernardino City Hall. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times