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San Bernardino fails to pass massive budget cuts proposed in bankruptcy process

San Bernardino City Council at a preliminary bankruptcy proceeding
San Bernardino City Council at a preliminary bankruptcy proceeding
Steven Cuevas / KPCC

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Not willing to “go along just to get along” the San Bernardino City Council meeting for planned budget cuts ran late last night, but no agreement was reached.

The Council is taking its first steps into bankruptcy proceedings with a plan designed to cut more than $22 million from the budget. Most of the cost savings come from cutting over 100 jobs and closing three of the city’s four libraries. That still wouldn’t close the entire $45 million gap, but Council members see it as a starting point.

Where they can’t see eye-to-eye is on cuts to the Fire Department. Pulling that issue out into a separate vote worked for a moment, but the narrowly-passed proposal was vetoed by Mayor Pat Morris. Morris called the alternate proposals “irresponsible.” They’ll try again in a meeting this afternoon.

Given San Bernardino’s extreme fiscal problems, how should City officials proceed? What cuts should be a priority? And what are the consequences of further delay?


Steven Cuevas, KPCC’s Inland Empire reporter