This news effects us locally in the Redlands area...
Bernardino, California, picked a new city manager on Friday at a critical
time in its quest to get bankruptcy protection from a federal
San Bernardino was forced to look for a new city manager
after its acting city manager, Andrea Travis-Miller, quit.
resignation coincides with the departure of the city's finance chief. Both had
been the key officials overseeing the city's bankruptcy application and their
departures threaten the city's ability to achieve it. They had more knowledge
than anybody else of the city's finances and the experience to answer questions
from the court and creditors.
The city council voted to hire Allen Parker to replace
Travis Miller. According to his resume provided to the city, Parker has been an
economic development consultant since 2006.
From June 2001 until December 2006,
according to his resume, Parker was chief administrative officer of the Morongo
Band of Mission Indians, a federally recognized tribe in California. Before that
he was village manager of Maywood, Illinois.The federal judge
overseeing San Bernardino's bankruptcy application said in a court hearing on
Tuesday that the new city manager would be confronted with a steep learning
Various creditors are demanding a wealth of financial documents
from the city. The city must also produce a detailed bankruptcy blueprint to
explain how it intends to deal with its creditors, a key part of proving its
eligibility for bankruptcy.
The city council considered two applicants
for the job, and voted unanimously to hire Parker.
"Allen Parker brings a
wealth of city management experience to San Bernardino," the mayor, Pat Morris
said. "I have great confidence in his ability...to guide San Bernardino through
the difficult decisions we must make in bankruptcy."
San Bernardino, a city of 210,000 about
60 miles east of Los Angeles, filed for bankruptcy protection on August 1,
citing a $46 million deficit for the current fiscal year and little scope to
meet its day-to-day expenses. It was the third California city to file for bankruptcy last
year, following Stockton and Mammoth Lakes.
The city's biggest creditor, the
California Public Employee Pension Fund (Calpers), has opposed San Bernardino's quest
to seek bankruptcy protection. Without it, the struggling city will likely face
multiple lawsuits in state court for unpaid bills, at a time when its officials
say it can barely make payroll.The city pegs its debt to America's
biggest public pension fund at $143 million.
San Bernardino has not made its
$1.2 million, twice monthly payment to Calpers since its bankruptcy declaration
No city has ever unilaterally suspended payments to Calpers,
which manages pension plans for state government employees and many
municipalities and local government agencies around California.
bankruptcy could be a test case as to whether the pensions of government workers
take precedence over other payments in a municipal bankruptcy - a high-stakes
issue for pension plans and their beneficiaries, and for the Wall Street
bondholders who lend money to governments.
In a statement, Calpers said:
"We are very pleased to have Mr. Parker stepping into his new role as city
manager of San Bernardino and our executives have already reached out to him
personally to welcome him and begin a dialogue with Calpers."
Lon Mapes - Redlands Broker/Owner &
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
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