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How a vicious circle of self-interest sank a California City | John and Ken – KFI AM

By   /   November 15, 2012  /   3 Comments

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When this sun-drenched exurb east of Los Angeles filed for bankruptcy protection in August, the city attorney suggested fraudulent accounting was the root of the problem.

The mayor blamed a dysfunctional city council and greedy police and fire unions. The unions blamed the mayor. Even now, there is little agreement on how the city got into this crisis or how it can extricate itself.

“It’s total political chaos,” said John Husing, a former San Bernardino resident and regional economist. “There is no solution. They’ll never fix anything.”

Yet on close examination, the city’s decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward — and alarmingly similar to the path traveled by many municipalities around America’s largest state. San Bernardino succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers.

via HOW A VICIOUS CIRCLE OF SELF-INTEREST SANK A CALIFORNIA CITY | John and Ken – KFI AM 640 More Stimulating Talk Radio.

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  • Published: 2 years ago on November 15, 2012
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  • Last Modified: November 15, 2012 @ 8:06 am
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3 Comments

  1. Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

    That story makes it clear that hiding budget details beneath layers of concealment make it easy for salaries and other items to grow unchecked. That’s how we in 29 Palms ended up with a City Manager of a small city making more then most State Governors.

    No one in our SMALL town deserves a $200K+ or even $100K+ salary. If people in City Hall don’t want their salary/compensation known then they should seek employment funded in the private sector and not from public tax dollars.

    That’s why I hope the next proposed budget for 29 Palms is written in PLAIN English. Instead of simply listing $XXX,XXX for a Department’s total budget, that we will instead see the Dept’s actual costs broken down by things such as job title and other easily understood headings.

    • @ Steve_In_29 — Note that City Boss Richard Warne’s FPPC Form 700 (Financial Disclosure) list no assets, no property, no investments, no income, etc. In other words, it is completely blank but for his mandatory disclosure of being a revolving Board of Director for a corporation that deals with Bonds.

      This is not only an outrage. He can do this if he wants due to FPPC loopholes.

  2. Dean M Gray says:

    So to solve the problem the city hired former Desert Hot Springs Finance Director Jason Simpson who quit his job and the next day went to work for the city of San Bernardino. see http://www.vote29.com/newmyblog/archives/34881 Thanks to the genius of DHS city manager Rick DAniels, Simpson received the gift from Desert Hot Springs of over $60,0000 in payout PLUS his laptop, tablet and cell phone.

    Is it any wonder why Desert Hot Springs is nearing a fiscal crisis http://www.vote29.com/newmyblog/archives/42750 when the city manager is paid $25,000 a month to make decisions such as above?

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