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Another American city faces bankruptcy

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This time, in San Bernadino, Calif.:

A year of limbo ended Wednesday when San Bernardino was granted bankruptcy protection, moving the city into the next stage of its attempt to reorganize and regain solvency.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System had objected that the city didn’t qualify, charging among other things that the city was “languishing” in bankruptcy without meeting the Chapter 9 prerequisite of wanting to form a plan to balance its budget longterm.

But bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury took a dim view of that, saying there was no evidence the city didn’t intend to move forward — and that she didn’t see any alternatives for the city except bankruptcy and dissolving.

“If they (CalPERS) got all the money that they want under what they say is their contract and statutory right, who isn’t going to get paid?” Jury asked, rhetorically. “All the employees. I don’t know. How does that help CalPERS, if the employees don’t get paid?

“The citizens of this city deserve a chance.”

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