A few months ago the City of San Bernardino announced that they had reached an agreement with the San Bernardino Police Officers Association (SBPOA) related to San Bernardino’s bankruptcy filing. Police Officers overwhelming ratified the contract with the city.
On Wednesday, the SBPOA announced that the agreement touted by city officials had fallen apart due to disagreement over its interpretation by the city, which had delayed implementation.
City officials have used the SBPOA agreement as a hammer against firefighters in San Bernardino who have not approved a bankruptcy agreement in an effort to paint firefighters as being uncooperative and greedy. City officials have also used that same theme in their efforts to pass measure Q on the November 4th ballot.
But the Police Officers didn’t stop there. For the first time, they openly criticized city leaders for what they obviously think was breach of trust.
“Mayor Carey Davis has failed to provide the fresh new leadership he promised in his campaign. San Bernardino continues to be the city that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
While the failure of the City to acknowledge the meaning of the terms consistent with the agreed upon language is a loss for both the City and San Bernardino’s police officers, the ones who will suffer most from this ongoing lack of leadership at City Hall are the residents of this city.”
High tensions should be expected between parties in bankruptcy. Clearly the agreement between the city and the POA was a major development and an important milestone for San Bernardino. And it is just as clear that the rejection of this agreement puts the city in a worse position then if they had not had an agreement in the first place.
This is yet another example of the haphazard leadership at City Hall. Politics in San Bernardino were deteriorating two years ago. The recall election further divided the city. The last minute effort to place a highly controversial charter amendment related to public safety salaries, Measure Q, has raised city politics to a toxic level while city residents have been desperately hoping for leaders to elevate the discussions and work together.
Whether Measure Q passes or fails is actually irrelevant to San Bernardino’s financial future. Placing more controversy on the election ballot after the past two years of political strife demonstrates an unfortunate continuity of the self-destructive politics that the supporters of the current regime pledged to end.