The Southern California city of San Bernardino became the third California city in less than a month to file for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday night.
The city’s interim city manager said San Bernardino is facing a budget shortfall of $45.8 million and may not be able to make payroll over the next three months, according to the Associated Press.
San Bernardino will become the second largest city ever to file for bankruptcy. The largest — Stockton, CA — filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on June 28.
“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.
According to the Times, four council members voted for the authorization, two opposed it, and one abstained and the mayor said “draconian” cuts will be needed.
San Bernardino — like many other cities in California and California itself — did not enact public sector reforms when those reforms could have helped the city avoid bankruptcy, and are now paying the price for years of proverbially kicking the fiscal can down the road in order to appease bureaucrats and public sector unions.
More cities in California should take a look at the actions of the Orange County, CA city of Costa Mesa, which provide a stark contrast to those of other insolvent cities.
Costa Mesa recently passed its second consecutive balanced budget and the city is in good fiscal health due to preventive public sector reforms the city’s leaders enacted even though progressives accused Costa Mesa’s leaders of engaging in “jihad,” bringing Wisconsin to California, and being “at the bloody tip of the spear in California Republicans’ war against public employees.”
It looks like California could sure use a bit more of Wisconsin-style public sector reforms.
Photo credit: Don Barrett