The City has announced that it has reached a new milestone. The City’s Plan of Adjustment (the “Plan”) became effective as of June 15, 2017, and the City has begun making distributions to creditors under its Plan.
Mayor R. Carey Davis expressed his appreciation to all those who have cooperated with the City during this difficult process. “From the beginning, we understood the time, hard work, sacrifice and commitment it would take for the City to emerge from the bankruptcy process. Due to the patience and commitment of San Bernardino employees, citizens and businesses, and the sacrifices of creditors, we have come to the City’s momentous exit from that process. The proceedings guided us through a process of rebuilding and restructuring, and we will continue to rebuild and create systems for successful municipal operations. We will continue to dedicate our attention to improving service delivery, quality of life, and attracting business investment to our community. We are thankful for the patience and commitment of our community, and we look forward to continuing the pursuit of the goals we established in our strategic plan.”
Since filing its initial Plan, San Bernardino has continued to make a number of significant improvements to its finances, service models and governance structure. Some of the major elements of the Plan include annexing into the County Fire District, contracting for refuse services, and investing City resources to the strengthening of the police department. On June 21, 2017, the Mayor and City Council are expected to adopt a $160 million City Operating Budget, as well as a $22.6 million Capital Improvement Budget. Within those budgets, the City will be increasing staffing and equipment replacement in the Police Department, initiating a new Violence Intervention Program, hiring additional maintenance staff in Public Works and Parks, and increasing the Community Development staff to facilitate development opportunity. The capital budget provides for new street rehabilitation, street light and traffic signal repair, storm drain and median maintenance, and several Park facility improvements. Each are a part of fulfilling the objectives set in the strategic plan and priority goals adopted in 2015.
The end of bankruptcy has already led to a noticeable increase in parties interested in business and development investment in San Bernardino. The City’s management team is also taking advantage of the City’s improved post-bankruptcy financial status to recruit highly qualified management staff to fill important vacancies in Public Works, Housing, and Economic Development. At the same time, every effort is being made to establish efficient service delivery systems to maximize the benefit of San Bernardino’s limited resources.
There are many examples of progress in San Bernardino upon which to build. The new Loma Linda University Health/San Manuel Gateway College just graduated its first class from the new facility in Downtown San Bernardino. Cal State San Bernardino and San Bernardino Valley Community College continue to create exciting new programs and world-class facilities. The San Bernardino City Unified School is graduating record-setting percentages of students. The Downtown Transit Center on E Street, which has approximately 6,000 boardings per day, provides increased transit connections to regional destinations. The City’s Theater Square revitalization project is generating significant interest in retail and housing development around the highly successful Regal Theater and for the former site of Carousel Mall. The new Bryce E. Hanes Park and Jon Cole Skate Park (at 9th & E Street) is filling the air with the sounds of childhood joy.
To further demonstrate the City’s commitment to improving service delivery, City government offices will return to being open five days per week on August 7, 2017.
For a summary of the San Bernardino bankruptcy and some of the changes that have taken place in connection to the City’s bankruptcy, please refer to the statement issued by the City on December 7, 2016, athttp://bit.ly/2re4OEB.