Who is the San Bernardino Residents for Responsible Government?
San Bernardino Residents for Responsible Government is a political action committee, registered with the California Secretary of State, made up of concerned residents, business owners and community leaders. The PAC’s Responsible Officer and spokesperson is a community leader and Building Commission board member, Scott Beard.
San Bernardino Residents for Responsible Government is a new organization that is unrelated to any previous group involved in San Bernardino recall and charter reform petitions.
What is the PAC’s goal?
On April 29’ 2012, San Bernardino Residents for Responsible Government filed a Notice of Intent to Circulate a Recall Petition for all seven members of the San Bernardino City Council, Mayor Patrick Morris, and City Attorney James Penman. The PAC will begin efforts to gather enough signatures of registered voters in the City to qualify a Recall on the November 5, 2013 city-wide ballot.
Why the Recall?
The purpose of this effort is to restore the proud history, rich heritage and strong sense of community that once existed in the City. The City Council, Mayor, and City Attorney have failed to demonstrate necessary leadership and must be must be held accountable for the dismal condition of the City.
Our elected leaders have failed to protect city residents and businesses, resulting in painful consequences. Dysfunction and infighting have paralyzed city hall while crime rates soar, businesses leave, and city services suffer. The City needs cohesive leadership to move forward and create economic revitalization.
There is a better future for San Bernardino. Replacing ineffective leadership is the important first step to unifying and restoring San Bernardino. The Recall will lead to a more expedient exit from bankruptcy and pave the way for much-needed city reform.
How has current leadership failed San Bernardino?
Simply put, our elected leaders have been derelict in their duty to work together in order to serve and protect City residents, workers and businesses. The City Council, Mayor and City Attorney must be held accountable for the current condition of the City. Despite two years of warnings about possible bankruptcy, city leadership did not implement any significant strategy or course correction and, as we all know, the City was forced to declare bankruptcy on July 10, 2012.
The raw facts tell a very sad story about our city leadership, for example:
- We were ranked the “worst run city in America” earlier this year by a financial news media website
- We are experiencing 14.5% unemployment
- We have a $45 million budget shortfall
- There have been dangerous reductions in police and fire personnel
- There has been a reduction in the availability and effectiveness of city services
- We have become the second poorest large city in the U.S., second only to Detroit.
We deserve better and we deserve it now.
Is a city-wide Recall really necessary?
This City Council has been paralyzed by infighting and failure to compromise on matters of governance. Individual council members are focused on their personal interests or the interests of their benefactors, over the needs of the community.
The city council meetings are contentious, unprofessional and quite simply a disgrace. Discussions about public policy during the meetings often descend into name-calling and bitter personal attacks by people who clearly do not get it. This inability to work together only further complicates the bankruptcy and does not allow the City to move forward.
If the City of San Bernardino is going to turn the corner, come together and move forward, we will need to do so with new leadership that is committed to our future, rather than personal agendas. And this begins with fresh start that a Recall would provide.
Why not recall the City Treasurer and City Clerk as well?
City Treasurer David Kennedy warned the City Council and City Attorney of impending financial disaster back in 2010. It was the City’s elected leaders who failed to respond. As a non-voting member, The City Treasurer fulfilled his role in sounding the alarms.
City Clerk Georgeann “Gigi” Hanna is a non-voting member and a newcomer to city leadership. She did not play a role in the breakdown of leadership in response to the City’s financial crisis and does not need nor deserve to recalled.
What is the qualification process?
In order to qualify for the ballot, signatures are required from 25% of registered voters in each ward being recalled and from 15% of registered voters in San Bernardino to Recall the City Attorney and Mayor. The deadline to collected required signatures is July16, 2013. Once complete, the Petitions for Recall will be submitted to the City Clerk for verification of the signatures and verification that the number of signatures on the petition qualifies the Recall for the ballot.
How will signatures be gathered?
Petitions will be available for San Bernardino residents who are registered voters as of May of 2013. A website has been set up at www.SanBernardinoRecall.org for residents to download the petition. Signature gatherers will begin canvassing San Bernardino neighborhoods to collect signatures on the Recall petitions. Residents in favor of recall will need to sign the petition for their individual City Council Member and a separate petition to recall the City Attorney and Mayor.
What does the Recall do?
Once the Recall is qualified for the November 5, 2013, City-wide Ballot, the recall question will contain two parts for each elected official to be recalled. For example, in the first part voters will be asked “Shall James F. Penman be recalled (removed) from the Office of City Attorney?” The second part will list the names of candidates running to replace the City Attorney if he is recalled. Residents voting for a replacement candidate may vote for only one of the candidates listed.
How will this affect the bankruptcy?
This action has no impact on the pending bankruptcy proceedings – it merely changes who will represent the City before the Court, who will decide on the City’s actions, and what direction will be taken. It will have no bearing on the City’s eligibility before the bankruptcy court or require the petition to be dismissed.
What happens next?
The City needs new and vibrant leadership. San Bernardino Residents for Responsible Government encourages qualified replacement candidates to run for office. This committee will support the Recall initiative and may become involved in recruiting and supporting candidates after the petition phase of the campaign.