Earlier this week, the city of San Bernardino’s finance director and interim city manager informed the city council that unless it takes drastic action immediately to deal with a 45-million dollar shortfall, the city will have no option but to declare bankruptcy.
The city of Stockton made national news earlier this month when it declared bankruptcy. The San Bernardino sun reports that the San Bernardino council met in closed session on Monday, and will meet in open public session today and tomorrow to consider ideas to stave off the financial crisis. The budget that began July 1st is already projected to spend 45-million dollars more than city revenues, the city’s reserve fund is depleted, and city officials fear the only option to avoid bankruptcy will be to make more cuts to the city’s workforce.
San Bernardino has already laid off 250 workers – amounting to about 20 percent of the city’s workforce. The Sun reports that city personnel costs make up some 75 percent of the city’s general fund, and most of those expenses are for union public safety workers, which now may be the target of possible cuts.
The city council scheduled today’s budget workshop for 5 o’clock, and will meet again tomorrow at 5 at San Bernardino city Hall.