Bankrupt San Bernardino City Votes To Cut $26M In Spending

December 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Read the story below from the Los Angeles Times:

Saying it had little choice, the San Bernardino City Council voted to cut $26 million in spending in an effort to keep the bankrupt city from dissolving and being governed by the county.

The city is already in bankruptcy proceedings and facing a $45.8-million budget shortfall. The $26 million in cuts will help the troubled city stay afloat.

The austerity plan is a required step in the federal bankruptcy process. It freezes vacancies in the Police Department even as the city deals with an increase in violent crime. The Fire Department’s overtime budget also was slashed by 35%.

The city already had stopped making payments to CalPERS, the state’s public employee pension fund, since filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection Aug. 1, a move city officials estimate will save San Bernardino more than $12 million.

“This is a document that I’m holding my nose and voting yes on,’’ said Councilwoman Wendy McCammack.

The council voted 5-2 in favor of the plan, which both Mayor Patrick Morris and City Atty. James Penman said was a mandatory step in the city’s effort to restructure its debts and repair its finances under federal bankruptcy protection.

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