At The County Seat Morris Era Ends As Davis Picks Up San Bernardino Scepter

(March 4) The city of San Bernardino made its transition from the eight year-long administration of Pat Morris to that of Carey Davis on Monday.
Davis was elected with the support of Morris, turning back the candidacy of former councilman Wendy McCammack, who for the last eight years was a Morris rival. McCammack was recalled from office in November, on the same day she ironically qualified for the February mayoral run-off.
Under the stewardship of both Morris and McCammack, the county seat had not fared so well, having declared bankruptcy in 2012.
In another layer of irony, McCammack, a Republican, had been a supporter of the city’s employee unions, in particular the police and fire bargaining units, despite her party affiliation, while Morris, a Democrat, had proven a leading advocate against generous union-negotiated city employee salary and benefit contracts, which he said had led to the city’s economic decline and collapse.
Democrats are traditionally pro-union, while Republicans take a generally anti-union stance.
On his first day in office, which entailed a city council meeting following his inaugural, Davis plunged headfirst into the political fray, as the council took up his recommendation that the city create a committee to specify municipal charter changes.
Davis is looking toward changes in the city charter which lock in annual city employee salary raises. Those charter changes must be ratified by city voters and need to be placed upon the ballot. Davis hopes those proposals could come before voters as early as November.
The vote on the creation of the panel was deferred until a special meeting March 11, after the city attorney’s office pointed out that the charter review body cannot be formed as a commission without a vote of the city’s residents. Rather, it appears the council on March 11 will reconsider the matter by determining whether to create the task force as a committee.
Councilman John Valdivia, one of the few remaining Morris rivals on the council, also sought to have the format and composition of the panel reconsidered.  Davis had proposed having the council appoint representatives from the business community, city staff and citizens at large, along with a hired municipal charter “specialist.”
Valdivia indicated he wants the committee to have members appointed to it at least partially on the basis of their residency or affiliation with the city’s wards.
On Monday, the two other newest members of the city council, Benito Barrios and Henry Nickel, were sworn in.

Leave a Reply