Thursday, July 12, 2012

San Bernardino files for bankruptcy as officials admit to 'cash flow issue'

The Guardian

Southern Californian city of 210,000 people voted to choose Chapter 9 bankruptcy, following Stockton and Mammoth Lakes

San Bernadino's interim city manager said the city is
 facing a budget shortfall of $45.8m

Until last month, no city in California had opted for bankruptcy since 2008, and no US city of more than 200,000 people had ever decided to go down that route.
But the past two weeks have changed all that, as the fiscal struggles faced by so many American cities became too much for some to bear.
San Bernardino became the third California city in that small span to choose Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection with a city council vote on Tuesday night.
San Bernadino, which has about 210,000 people, will also become the second largest in the nation ever to file for bankruptcy. Stockton, whose population is nearly 300,000, became the biggest when it filed for Chapter 9 on June 28. The much smaller city of Mammoth Lakes voted for bankruptcy on July 3.
San Bernardino's city council directed the city attorney to make the move during a meeting where administrators explained the dire fiscal circumstances and urged them to choose the bankruptcy option.
"We have an immediate cash flow issue," interim city manager Andrea Miller told mayor Patrick Morris and the seven-member city council, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Miller said the city is facing a budget shortfall of $45.8m. It has already stopped paying some vendors, and may not be able to make payroll over the next three months.
Four council members voted for the authorization, two opposed it, and one abstained.
"This is probably the hardest decision this councilwoman will ever have to make in this chair," Wendy McCammack said, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
The councilman who abstained from voting, John Valdivia, said he did not trust the information presented at the meeting, and having only served since March believed he should not be held responsible for the money mess.
"The taxpayers of this city have been duped, hoodwinked and misguided for the past several years," Valdivia said, according to the Sun.
It was not immediately clear when the city planned to file.
Sixty miles east of Los Angeles, San Bernardino is in a region that soared economically during the housing boom but suffered after the crash.
It joins a number of other cities and counties across the nation that have plunged into financial crisis as the recession made it tough to cover rising costs involving payroll, pensions, bondholders and vendors.
Before Stockton, a California city had not filed for bankruptcy since Vallejo in 2008.
Since Congress added Chapter 9 to the bankruptcy code in 1937 to allow municipalities to seek protection, about 640 government entities have filed.

Help Us Transmit This Story

    Add to Your Blogger Account
    Put it On Facebook
    Tweet this post
    Print it from your printer
     Email and a collection of other outlets
     Try even more services

No comments:

Post a Comment