Bankrupt Cities

Bankrupt San Bernardino Gives Police Raises

Mandated by the city's charter

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Following the city charter, a reluctant San Bernardino city council last week approved a police pay raise costing about $1 million, the second $1 million police salary increase since the city filed for bankruptcy last year.

The four council members who voted for the 3 percent pay hike all criticized a city charter provision linking San Bernardino to the average police pay in 10 other cities, most much wealthier with higher per-capita income.

When a pay hike was approved last March, the city attorney, James Penman, and a councilman, Robert Jenkins, argued competitive pay attracts quality officers to combat a high crime rate. Penman was recalled last month, and Jenkins was not re-elected.

"I think most residents are puzzled and outraged that we are compelled during bankruptcy to provide substantial pay increases," a newly elected councilman, Jim Mulvihill, said last week. "Not only that, it's not any negotiation within our community."

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